Put a Whistle in Your Step at l’atelier de syrinx
Published: October 24, 2019
A syrinx is the name of the vocal organ in birds and what allows them to sing so beautifully. An apt name for a flute teacher’s private music school. The atelier, run by the lovely Ms. Rieko Imai, is located a 8-minute walk from Monzen Nakacho station in the Musician Housing apartment complex. “The sound-proofing is amazing,” she explained. “I can play anytime at night without any worry of disturbing other people!”
Ms. Imai is a professionally trained flutist who studied at the Austrian State Conservatory of Music, Vienna Academy of Music, French National Academy of Music, and the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique, as well as participated in numerous international competitions. A truly impressive resume!
“The level in Europe, for both teachers and students, is incredibly high. I enjoyed my time there and learned so much.” She also picked up the languages along the way and is now fluent in French and German, along with her native Japanese.
Recently, she decided to set up her private music school and opened l’atelier de syrinx in October of last year. Her main focus is teaching students the flute and piccolo from beginner to advanced, and even had an adorable child’s flute made of plastic. Her own instrument was an impressive Yamaha made of 14K gold, which she explained helps to enhance the sound.
A woman of many talents, in addition to flute, Ms. Imai also teaches piano to children and beginners. “I’ve been playing the piano for the last 5 years, and I’m happy to help anyone new to the instrument,” she said. Tucked into her apartment is a beautiful upright Boston piano, designed by Steinway and manufactured in Japan.
Although the majority of Ms. Imai’s training is classical, her favourite composer being Bach, she is happy to give customised lessons based on her students’ interests. She showed me her collection of music books, starting with the basics all the way up to more complex sonatas, concertos, and so on. Students will certainly not be lacking for choice!
Lessons are available from 30 to 60 minutes and prices are very reasonable starting at 8000 yen for three 40-minute beginner piano lessons/month to 32,000 yen for four 60-minute flute exam and competition preparation lessons/month. From October to December, l’atelier de syrinx is also offering free 30-minute trial lessons. All bookings can be made in advance either by email or through the website.
Along with being a music teacher, Ms. Imai is also a performer and has been a member of the Koto Opera Association for the past 10 years. She also does chamber music performances with piano, harp, and guitar.
With so much passion and experience, Ms. Imai is eager to pass on what she has learned to her students. If you’re in the market for a flute or piano teacher, come to l’atelier de syrinx and learn from a true professional.
Story and Photos by Jenna Wilson