Instructor’s Song Performed by Japanese Students

Miyuki Kamiya, an Instructor in MSU’s Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, recently worked with her former student, Tiara Harris, to compose a song for MSU’s Japanese Language program. The JPN 102 and 202 students, whom Kamiya taught during spring 2016, then performed the song while Kamiya played keyboards.

“I had wanted to do something with my students ever since I began teaching Japanese,” Kamiya said. “I thought that creating a Japanese program song with the students would be a good icebreaker.”

“Ms. Kamiya has a unique music-mediated approach to Japanese Language and Cultural Studies,” said Catherine Ryu, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, who after hearing Kamiya’s English and Japanese rap music encouraged her to develop an extra activity for MSU’s Japanese program students.

I thought that creating a Japanese program song with the students would be a good icebreaker.

Kamiya has been writing songs wherever she taught or attended school for more than 10 years and was only 11 years old when she first composed music.

This includes two songs for a school and society education class – all in English, and two English and Japanese rap music songs as her final projects in graduate school. For each of them, she wrote the songs, sang and performed them on keyboards. 

In 2007, Kamiya also composed a school song for the 10th anniversary of Southern Indiana Japanese Saturday School, where she taught English, Japanese and Mathematics. She notes that the students continue to sing the school song at ceremonies such as commencement.