Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications

Meet Our Graduate Students in Music

March 26, 2010

In this first installment of Meet Our Graduate Students, former professional violinist Taichi Akutsu and music teacher Heidi Chisholm discuss why they chose to pursue their graduate studies in music at Lehman and how the program has helped to bring their career goals within reach.

2 Minutes 37 Seconds

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I am from-- Tokyo, Japan. I am-- came here to study the violin. I thought-- my job could be fit as a teacher. So, and then I started to search -- school for music education. And many friends recommended-- that Lehman is the best. (LAUGHTER) That's what brought me here. I was-- professional violinist in an orchestra called New World Symphony-- in Miami.

My experience -- in conservatory -- I was seeking very narrow goal like which is becoming a violin player in orchestra. But -- here in-- Lehman College, it's like-- big university setting. And-- here we learn much broader sense in-- to become a-- sort of generalist of -- music. Actually I teach right now-- in a smaller after school program, music program in Harlem. So-- I learned a lot just simply by attending institution like here. And hope eventually I can bring what I learned -- to Japan.




My family history is a long one with music. The family music store was founded in 1880 in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The Edward T. Bates Music Company. And so music was a part of everyone in my fa mily. Going back for many, many, many generations.

Well, a good friend of mine has been telling me for years that I needed to come to Lehman. Cause-- I always felt it was the biggest mistake in my life in my undergraduate work that I didn't get the teaching certificate. Lehman has a great perspective. It's proximity to New York City, many of the professors here, they understand you know, one of the greatest school system in the world. The first class I was taking with Penny Prince -- was so fantastic I took materials she gave me, and I took them right into the classroom the next day. So, I really found it, you know, that I was able to apply immediately everything that I've been learning here so far.