Tasuku Naguchi – BMus Saxophone

 When did you start playing saxophone?

I started with the piano, when I was nine. Then when I was 15 or 16 I realised I liked the saxophone more, so I’ve been focused on saxophone ever since.

Why did you decide to come to the RNCM?

I’m originally from Japan but I moved to Malaysia when I was nine. I went to an international school there and most of my teachers were British, so I had information about the UK and how the university system worked. When I came to Manchester for the RNCM audition I immediately liked the place. My parents were actually keen on me going to University, but after I was offered a scholarship from the ABRSM the decision was made. I’m really glad I ended up here!

How’s the course going?

It’s been really exciting. I’ve learnt so many things that I didn’t initially intend to learn. What has been most unexpected from my experience at the RNCM is the way individualism is encouraged. What you have to say is appreciated more than I was expecting. This has allowed me to explore what I am interested in, rather than being stuck in a practise room all day long, going through books and exercises. While that can be helpful, I like exploring the music that’s in my head, so this place has really helped me to discover my own style.

How are you liking Manchester?

Manchester is a very vibrant in terms of music, so I get to do all sorts of gigs: classical, jazz, pop, funk, everything! I like music, full stop, not just a specific genre so the variety is really nice. I’m in a saxophone quartet as well which is good fun – the Lucida Saxophone Quartet. We’ve been together a year.

I’m taught mainly by Rob Buckland. I also get lessons from Mike Hall, Andy Raven and Andy Scott. They’re all teachers but also active musicians, which is great. I like hearing their take on repertoire or their views on how to keep your creativity going. I like gathering ideas and seeing what I want to implement for myself, now or in the future. It all goes back to the idea of finding out what I have to say through music.

What’s your plan after graduation?

At the moment I don’t have anything specific planned besides the fact I’m going to keep making music! As I’m here as an international student it may be difficult to stay in the UK but I would like to stay a bit longer and get more involved with the community of musicians here.