English student support in Sagamihara, to my delight, became evident in the month of September 2023. What a nice surprise it was for me to learn that a few of my students attended my concert. It is no secret that I love music and playing the trombone. I have written about my experiences with music in Japan a few times. However, I feel the need to write just a bit more; this time to say “thank you.”
I have been a member of the Zama Big Band Jazz Orchestra for 6 or 7 years now. Recently we held our 24th annual concert at Harmony Hall in Zama City. It is something that we work towards throughout the year, and it is always a great experience when the time comes.
This year was surprisingly special for me. Why? About 2 months ago, I posted some information about the concert on Smith’s Facebook page saying “I will get free tickets for any of my students.” No one responded to that except another teacher (Michael) who jokingly commented “free tickets for Smith’s teachers also?” So I left it alone and never said another word about it.
English Student Support Before and After the Concert
We held our concert on September 10th in the afternoon. A few days before the concert, I received an email from our bandleader regarding one of my students. Four other students who attended the concert also posted comments on social media and/or sent me an email after the concert. I was caught by surprise and very touched that they had decided to go to my concert. They took it upon themselves to offer me some support. I never pushed it. What follows are their actual comments…
Email from our bandleader: “Jim san, Your student, Wakana san, applied for a ticket through the band’s website. She gave me a message, “I’m really looking forward to listening to Mr. Jim’s live performance for the first time” (Yuichi Masuda). I was grateful that Masuda san passed that message on to me (in English!) and that Wakana had such kind words.
More Thoughtful Students in Sagamihara
Other surprises after the concert: (On Facebook) “I’m coming to the concert hall in Zama. To listen to the annual concert of Zama Big Band Jazz Orchestra. My English teacher Jim plays trombone in the band.”
“I really enjoyed the powerful and cool sound. Thanks Jim, all band members and staff.”
“I have come to Harmony Hall to listen to Zama Big Band Jazz Orchestra’s regular concert. My English conversation teacher on the trombone. I am looking forward to it.”
And More English Student Support in Sagamihara!
Email: “My husband and I enjoyed the music a lot. I really know the sound made by the trombone as a part of the big band. A singer woman was powerful and nice cool voice and percussion was also great. Thanks a lot and enjoy cheers with your members!!” –Wakana
(Instagram)”It was an excellent jazz performance. While watching the jazz performance, I was completely absorbed in the deep and clear sound of Jim’s trombone. He was the coolest.” –Ine
The point? While their comments are highly exaggerated (I’m not that good!), I am also very humbled. So a heartfelt “thank you” goes out to those students who attended and wrote such nice comments. I really appreciate you all. It is ironic that as I write this, I see that this week’s free one-point lesson‘s question is (“What made you say “thank you” recently?”). How lucky I am to have such kind and thoughtful students, this job, to be a part of Smith’s School of English, and to live in Japan!
Here is a 3-minute video with music and photos of the Zama Big Band Jazz orchestra. Please have a look and listen if interested. Click here.
Thank you always for reading!