Public Relations Division
Challenges for Children
When today’s children enter the workforce, they are likely to find themselves in jobs that don’t yet exist. Such is the profound and ceaseless impact of the digital revolution. More than ever, young people must be prepared to accept the challenges they will face. To this end, we organize activities that allow children to assume responsibilities and perform under pressure. One such activity offers elementary and junior high school students the opportunity to perform alongside professional musicians before large crowds. It is an experience we hope will inspire them to take on new challenges in all aspects of their lives.
What You Don’t Know,
“I don’t have much experience with music,” admits Kimiko Yoshii of the Public Relations Division. This might seem ironic, for among the many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities she is responsible for is the Idemitsu Concert for the Future. This unique musical event was started in 2006 and has since become a yearly highlight. “Every day, working on this project is a process of trial and error.” Clearly, she takes the challenge very seriously – so much so that even when she attends a concert outside the scope of her work, she finds herself more focused on the organizational aspects that on the music itself. “There is still a lot that I don’t know,” Kimiko acknowledges. Consequently, she is even more eager to learn.
A Labor of Love
In addition to the main concert, there are also workshops and mini-concerts held at participating schools the day before the event. Organizers work closely with local boards of education and the schools themselves. “Each concert presents a unique set of challenges,” Kimiko reveals. “Preparations actually begin a year in advance.” Ultimately, it’s a tremendous amount of work, but for Kimiko Yoshii and all those involved in broadening the horizons of Japanese youth, it’s a labor of love.
Working closely with professional musicians is a great opportunity for the young participants. According to Kimiko, “Children don’t often have the chance to receive feedback directly from a professional, so they really look forward to it.” Though their time together is limited, performances improve dramatically. The concert itself draws as many as a thousand spectators, which causes a good deal of nervousness. Once the concert begins, however, the young performers lose themselves in the music. Afterwards, their delighted faces fill Kimiko with a joyful energy.
Broadening Their World
Idemitsu is proud to support the growth and development of young people, those who bear responsibility for shaping the future. Concerts and workshops are just some of the activities designed to enrich the lives of participants, and we will continue to expand our efforts to broaden their world. Kimiko put it this way: “My hope is that these experiences will increase their confidence and inspire them to take on new challenges.”