Chisumi Ishikawa, Violin teacher


Chisumi Ishikawa was inspired by music at the age of six when she started playing the  piano. In her teens, discouraged by the difficulty of some piano pieces, she changed to playing bass guitar in a rock band instead, later becoming attracted to the violin at the age of twenty three.  After studying for a degree in  Japanese literature at Waseda University, and working  in  IT   as a computer game designer, Chisumi took three years of private violin lessons and  became a student at Osaka College of Music, where she studied violin with Sachi Togi, Nobuhiko Asaeda and viola with Tomoko Taguchi. She attended a winter  course at Griffith University in Queensland Australia, studying there with Michele Walsh.

After graduation, she played in Kobe Philharmonic Orchestra as a 2nd violin first desk player for twelve years, formed a string quartet with orchestra colleagues and also took on some teaching.

It was in 2013 that she came across Kato Havas,’ “A New Approach to Violin Playing,” which immediately helped her so much with the aches and pains she was suffering from that  she flew to England to attend Kato Havas’ workshops and lessons and intensive Twelve  Lesson  courses  with Gloria Bakhshayesh  in 2014, and 2015.  Finding the experience life changing she began to pass on the New Approach to her pupils and to give workshops in Japan, including a workshop for JASTA ( Japanese String Teachers’ Association) as a Representative of KHANA(Kató Havas Association of New Approach) Japan.

At the same time she began  her translations into Japanese of  “A New Approach to Violin Playing” by Kató Havas (published by Yamaha Music Media) and tutor books “Dancing Bows” and “Ringing Strings” by Gloria Bakhshayesh. In “Dancing Bows”  it was necessary  to substitute the English folk tunes with Japanese ones and for this Chisumi enlisted the aid of  composer Ton Vandervalk, husband of Gerianne Wigboldus ( KHANA Representative in the Netherlands),  who made  delightful arrangements of the tunes she selected. To date, more than four hundred  copies of the book  have been sold to Japanese violin teachers and pupils.

In 2016,  when Gerianne  and Ton  were travelling in Japan, Chisumi invited them to a concert of her pupils, where they played together a composition of Ton Vandervalk   and gave a New Approach  workshop  together.

Recently, Chisumi has put Japanese subtitles to Kato’s YouTube videos, which is  inspiring many Japanese string players.