Grade Test (English)

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Grading system and curriculum

The Koto Music Institute’s grade test system is a series of grade tests specially devised for koto students. For each grade, students will need to record the corresponding assessment piece. This recording will then be sent to qualified koto examiners where it will be marked and graded. Students will receive detailed comments from the examiners, which they can use as a guide when practicing in the future.
It is not necessary to start from Grade 1 for a student’s first grade test. This means that it is possible to start from any grade, provided the student is proficient enough.
Recordings should be in mp3 format. Be sure to use a good microphone so that the examiners will be able to grade the recording accurately.

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[accordion-item title=”Grade 1 : Pre-Beginner”]

Key learning areas:

  • Understand how to read koto scores.
  • Able to play Semibreve, Minim, Crotchet, and Quaver notes with the thumb in a precise and a strong touch.
  • Able to maintain a steady tempo while playing.
Assessment Piece (Play the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Hana ikada (1st Koto) Tadao Sawai
Compulsory pieces to prepare for the assessment piece (to be done in order)
1) Tadao Sawai koto kyousokubon daiitsushu (P1 ~ P20) Tadao Sawai
2) Sandan no Shirabe Genchi Hisamoto
3) Fuyu no hi Tadao Sawai
Additional Practice Pieces (Optional)
Michiyo Miyagi shoukyokushu Michio Miyagi
Soukyokushoukyokushu No1 Seiho Namer
Soukyokushoukyokushu No2 Seiho Nomura
kotorino Uta Michio Miyagi
Aki no hi Tadao Sawai

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[accordion-item title=”Grade 2 : Beginner”]

Key learning areas:

  • Able to play Semi quaver notes evenly.
  • Able to produce clear sounds with the index and middle finger.
  • Able to perform half presses and full presses with the correct pitch.
  • Able to perform sukui zume correctly with a steady tempo.
Assessment Piece (Play the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Tsuchi Ningyo (1st koto) Tadao Sawai
Maritsuki Michio Miyagi
Compulsory pieces to prepare for the assessment piece (to be done in order)
1) Sawai Tadao kotokyosokubon daiitsushu (P21 ~26) Tadao Sawai
2) Sousei daiichiban Masao Matsumoto
3) Hiyaku Genchi Hisamoto
4) Rokudan no Shirabe Unknown

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 3 : Pre-Intermediate”]

Key learning areas:

  • Learn the basic playing techniques for traditional pieces.
Assessment Piece (Play the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Rokudan no Shirabe Unknown
Practice Pieces
Natsu no Hi Tadao Sawai
Haru no Hi Tadao Sawai
Taka (1st koto) Tadao Sawai
Hikaru Umi Tadao Sawai
Kotenteki Kiyukyoku Tadao Sawai
Hayase Shoumei Masahiro
Ryuryu Tadao Sawai

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 4 : Intermediate”]

Key learning areas:

  • Learn the technique of playing using both hands.
  • Able to perform tenchou smoothly while playing.
  • A basic grasp of dynamics while playing.
  • Able to use Vibrato to produce different tonal qualities.
Assessment Piece (Play one of the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Taka (2nd koto ) Tadao Sawai
Ame Hozan Yamamoto
Practice Pieces
Karakinuta (2nd koto) Michio Miyagi
Mittsu no Renshukyoku Shinichi Yuize
Chiisana Kage Tadao Sawai
Hachidan no Shirabe Yatsuhashi Kengyo
Kinran Tadao Sawai

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 5 : Pre-Advanced”]

Key learning areas:

  • Able to count and play precisely on the upbeat.
  • Able to comfortably adapt to changing time signatures.
Assessment Piece (Play the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Kishagokko Michio Miyagi
OKOTO (1st koto) Hikaru Sawai
Practice Pieces
Raden Tadao Sawai
Akogare Tadao Sawai
K no tame no To I Kin Tadao Sawai
Sunae Tadao Sawai
Hana Shuretsu Miyashita
Seiryu Kinichi Nakanoshima
Koto 17gen ni yoru shoukumikyoku Hozan Yamamoto

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 6 : Advanced”]

Key learning areas:

  • Able to perform with a natural pace and tempo.
Assessment Piece (Play the following; teacher tunes the instrument)
Kara Ginuta (honde) Michio Miyagi
Asano Uta Tadao Sawai
Practice Pieces
Kinuta Michio Miyagi
Mizumo (1st koto) Tadao Sawai
Sarashifu tegoto Michio Miyagi
Kagero Tadao Sawai
Kyo no Yorokobi Michio Miyagi
Ochiba no Odori Michio Miyagi
Koto to Jyuhichigen ni yoru sanjyusou Bondai Fujii

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 7″]

Key learning areas:

  • Able to give an expressive performance using a wide range of dynamics.
  • Able to tune accurately without a tuner.

Special Requirements

  1. Please contact Satsuki directly in order to apply for the grade 7 examination.
  2. For grade 7, students must also make a video recording of themselves tuning the hirajyoushi scale.
Assessment Pieces
Play Chiisana Haru Sawai Tadao
Make a video recording of the student tuning the HIRAJYOSHI scale
Practice Pieces
Emu Hideaki Kuribayashi
Kamimu Houzan Yamamoto
Mizumo (2 koto) Tadao Sawai
Koto Nijyusoukyoku Shinichi Yuize
Koto doukusou no tame no rennshukyoku Yasuko Nakajima
Matsuri no taiko Michio Miyagi
Isuzugawa Michio Miyagi
Rondon no yoru no ame Michio Miyagi
Haru no Umi Michio Miyagi

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 8″]

Key learning areas:

  • Able to fully perform danmono pieces.
Assessment Pieces  (Play the following; the student tunes the instrument in front of the teacher)
Midare Yatsuhashi Kengyo
Practice Pieces
Rokudan no Shirabe Unknown
Hachidan no Shirabe Yatsuhashi Kengyo

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 9 : Teaching License (Koto only)”]

Key learning areas:

  • Learn how to enunciate properly forjiuta songs, while vocalizing in a loud and clear voice.
Assessment Pieces (Play the following; the student tunes the instrument in front of the teacher)
Chidori no kyoku Kengyo Yoshizawa
Practice Pieces
Miyagi Michio shoukyokushuu Michio Miyagi
Kurokami Unknown
Tsuru no koe Tanaoka Kengyo
Shintakasago Hanano Terashima
Yachiojishi Unknown
Godankinuta Mitsuzaki kengyo

[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Grade 10 : Teaching License (Koto and Shamisen)”]

Key learning areas:

  • Learn the basics of playing the shamisen.

Special Requirements

  • Please contact Satsuki directly in order to apply for the grade 10 examination.
Assessment Pieces (Play all the following in front of the teacher; the student tunes the instruments for the own music)
Aki no koto no ha Kengyo Nishiyama
Tori no you ni Tadao Sawai
Tegoto Michio Miyagi
Rokudan no Shirabe (Sangen) Michio Miyagi
Practice Pieces
Shudaitohennsou Shinichi Yuize
Shinsenchobukyoku Shinichi Yuize
Seoto Michio Miyagi
Shaei Hikaru Sawai
sangenshoukyokushu daiitsushu Michio Miyagi
Yugao Kikuoka Kengyo
Sue no Chigiri Matsuura Kengyo
Naniwajishi Tsugihashi Kengyo

[/accordion-item]
[/accordion]

Application for Grade Examination

Please fill out the application form below.
Upon receipt of your application and the examination fee, the Institute will contact you and advise
how to electronically submit your music files for assessment.

(*required)

Teacher’s Information
Name *
Email *
Contact Number *
Student’s Information
Name *
Email*
Contact Number *
School year
Grade
Candidate is a Member
of the Koto Music Institute of Australia
 YES NO
Please note

This application must be sent to your teacher via email. The pieces listed above must be recorded and included as an attachment(s) with this application form.
Please transfer the examination fee according to your grade to the following account before the application is sent.

- St George Bank
- BSB 112879
- Account Number: 455937457
- The Koto Music institute of Australia

Grade Examination Fee
(Members)
Examination Fee
(Non-Members)
1 $100 $110
2 $120 $130
3 $140 $160
4 $160 $180
5 $180 $200
6, 7, 8, 9 $200 $220
Check here if you accept these terms.