Min-On Music Research Institute(from left) Olivier Urbain, senior research fellow; Michael Golden; Hiroyasu Kobayashi, director; Elaine Sandoval and Craig Robertson

On February 26, some 100 people attended the official launch of the Min-On Music Research Institute (MOI) held at the NS Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The establishment of the institute was announced on October 18, 2014, the 51st anniversary of the founding of the Min-On Concert Association by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda.

At the launch event, Hiroyasu Kobayashi, Min-On Concert Association president and director of MOI, gave welcoming remarks, followed by comments from Koji Saeki, director-general of the Cultural Affairs Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, and Mr. Tokihiko Umezu, president of Toho Gakuen College.

The team of researchers then introduced the Min-On Music Research Institute’s initial five-year research program that will investigate what music can contribute to peacebuilding from the perspectives of psychology, sociology, education and ecology.

related article Finding My True Voice Finding My True Voice by Edoardo Santoni A musician who has struggled with depression, Edoardo describes how involvement with SGI, and assisting a choir of SGI-Australia members, has helped him find a truer, more honest "voice" as a performer. Dr. Olivier Urbain, director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research, is the institute’s senior research fellow. He gave an overview of current research into music and psychology.

Associate research fellow Elaine Sandoval, PhD student at the City University of New York, then described her research on music education and Venezuela’s “El Sistema” program. She called for a more cosmopolitan approach that values all kinds of music, not only classical music.

Next, research fellow Dr. Craig Robertson, coordinator of the Communities and Culture Network at the School of Media and Communication at Leeds University (UK), laid out the conditions he has identified for the successful use of music in conflict resolution.

The event concluded with an overview of the links between music and ecology from research fellow Dr. Michael Golden, professor of Music Composition and Theory and director of the Creative Arts Program at Soka University of America.

[Adapted from reports from the Min-On Concert Association; photos courtesy of Min-On Concert Association]

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