"KOKO Music strongly believes the importance of understanding each student's personality and uniqueness to design programs in order to motivate students. We provide human-centered, creative, and positive musical experiences created from a collaboration of backgrounds; music performance and music therapy."
Tomoko Shimizu Lead Piano Teacher
Tomoko Shimizu is a pianist/piano teacher born in Japan. She strongly believes the importance of understanding each student's uniqueness to design programs in order to motivate students. She provides human-centered, creative, and positive musical experiences created from a collaboration of her backgrounds; piano performance and music therapy.
She began piano at age of five and solfege at age of six, and attended Toho Gakuen School of Music, Tokyo, Japan to study piano performance. During this time, she discovered music therapy. She decided to pursue this after the loss of her music-loving mother. While she majored in Music Therapy at Kurashiki Sakuyo University, Okayama, she participated in Neurologic Music Therapy Clinical Workshop at Colorado State University to deepen the importance of evidence-based scientific studies. After the graduation, she started working as a full-time certified music therapist at a nursing home in Japan to support elderly residents for a memory care, and to improve their quality of life.
In 2009, she entered Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA to pursue her passion for music therapy in the US. While in the college, she won The MIE International Exchange Award, Japan. After the completion of a 6 months clinical internship at a nursing home in Connecticut, she received her B.M. in Music Therapy. In 2014, she moved to New York, and encountered music lessons integrated music therapy to provide for children with all levels and abilities. Music therapy is an evidence-based therapeutic yet educational intervention required many hours working with people with many different disorders, races, ages and abilities to accomplish individual's goals; therefore, it was a quite natural, smooth and fascinating transition for her to start teaching piano and music utilized her music therapy and piano performing backgrounds to exploit students' passion and ability. She has led early childhood music group classes at preschools in Brooklyn, and taught piano at various music schools as well as her private music studio where she quickly became busy.
Yusuke Yamanouchi Guitar Teacher
Yusuke Yamanouchi is a Guitarist/Composer/Arranger born in Tokyo, Japan in 1978. His music education started since when he was five years old, taking private piano lessons. At the age of twenty, Yusuke Yamanouchi attended an art school based in his hometown, Tokyo. It was here that he found Bill Evans and Jim Hall’s album “undercurrent” which inspired him to learn jazz music. He then entered Iida jazz school in Tokyo to study jazz music formally. At Iida, he took many private guitar lessons and ensemble lessons from prestigious jazz musicians such as Toshiki Nunokawa, Koichi Yabori and Shyunji Takenaka. At the same time, he actively began playing live concerts in Tokyo, where he performed at famous jazz clubs, restaurants and concert halls with his group and various other renowned bands.
After his successful career as a jazz guitarist based in Tokyo, Japan, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 to study Jazz Composition/Performance, to deepen his expertise, and to flourish his career as a musician at Berklee College of Music, for which he was awarded the Berklee World Tour Award throughout his school years. He has learned jazz guitar from the most famous, legendary and inspiring Jazz musicians in the world including of Brett Willmott, David Gilmore, Tim Miller, Tomo Fujita and Bruce Saunders, and jazz composition and arranging from pioneers in jazz such as Dave Johnson, Bob Pilkington and Jackson Schultz. He also actively participated in many concerts, benefit performances, and live music recordings. Moving to the U.S. has played a major role in shaping who he is today musically as well as personally.
In 2013, he graduated from Berklee College of Music, then he relocated to New York the most competitive city for jazz artists, where his career has flourished. He has actively started performing with many prominent musicians and groups at many well-known jazz venues in New York and New England area.
Yuko Kawasaki Piano/Voice Teacher
Yuko Kawasaki is an NYC-based vocalist, improviser, multi-instrumentalist, and composer.
She believes that music, her passion, expresses what is invisible, but definitely there. Characteristics in life include emotions, smells, and memories that can only be felt and remembered, but never touched. It’s her mission to capture these invisible qualities through jazz composition and share them with audiences worldwide.
Like most passions, Yuko’s started off small, before even picking up a trombone, her first instrument, at the age of 9 to play in a local brass band. In those early years, her love for music instead took shape in drawings on the backside of newspaper ads as she listened to her father’s record collection, enjoying the stories within the sounds.
Yuko has been internationally performing at jazz venues and festivals, such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Art Center in Canada, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Japan Society, and Smalls, as a vocalist and composer since she moved to New York City.
She recently performed with her trio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and shared the stage with Anthony Roth Costanzo and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She performed with Grammy Award-winning pianist and arranger, John Beasley at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and also has performed with one of the great influencing saxophonists, Dayna Stephens at ‘North Cadence International Jazz Series’ at the National Art Center in Canada.
Yuko performed with the J’s Bee, a Japanese progressive jazz band, releasing five albums with the band. They performed at some of the best venues in Japan, including Blue Note, Bottom Line, and one of the biggest festivals, Metamorphose Festival. The album “Isotope” released by Far Out Recordings, U.K. in 2013 was highly acclaimed by DJs such as Giles Peterson and has been broadcast around the world on media platforms such as BBC 6 Music, BBC 3, KCRW, PBB radio, Inter FM, to name a few.
She holds a B.M. in Jazz Studies from The City College of New York, and M.M. in Jazz Arts from The Manhattan School of Music.