Japanese Traditional Music Workshops: Koto with Joseph Amato

Guest Artist Youth & Adult Workshops
Sponsored by Batchelor Foundation and Residence Inn Boca Raton by Marriott

The March workshops have been cancelled due to Covid.

Program Description

There will be opportunities for adults to take the Japanese traditional music workshops at the Morikami Museum with our professional musicians from Japan. Instruments and sheet music will be provided for use in the workshops.

Participants will study the 13-string koto (zither). The program is aimed at beginners, those with no or little experience with the koto. An intermediate course is be offered on the weekends for those who have taken the beginners course and want to go to the next level.

About Morikami’s Japanese Traditional Music Program

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens established a yearly Japanese traditional music education program in 2017 aimed at the general public and school children. This groundbreaking program includes hands-on workshops and a youth music camp.

Program content includes practical instruction on the 13-string koto for both children (grades 3-12) and adults. In addition, the program will feature special classes on Japanese music theory and history, culture, and an introduction to Japanese traditional arts.

Led by Dr. Joseph Gashō Amato, coordinator of the program and koto teacher, the faculty also includes shakuhachi performer Kyle Kamal Helou and Morikami Education Staff. The Japanese Traditional Music Program is proudly supported through special grants received from the Toshiba International Foundation, Japan Foundation, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. and the Morikami Wisdom Ring Members.

Overview of 2017 Morikami Music Program Results

Overview of 2018 Morikami Music Program Results

Overview of 2019 Morikami Music Program Results




  • Beginner Session: 10:00am-12:30pm
  • Intermediate Session: 2:00pm – 4:30pm


  • Beginner Session: 9:00am-12:30pm (10am-10:30am break)
  • Intermediate Session: 1:30pm – 5:00pm (2:30pm – 3:00pm break)


  • Saturday, March 20, 2021 (1-Day Youth Workshop) (Cancelled)
  • Sunday, March 21, 2021 (1-Day Adult Workshop) (Cancelled)
  • Saturday & Sunday, June 26 and 27, 2021 (2-Day Adult Workshop) 



  • $80 (1-Day Workshop)


  • $100 (1-Day Workshop)
  • $200 per session (2-Day Workshop)


  • Intermediate Session: complete beginners course or prior experience with the instrument.


  • Morikami Theater

Meet Your Instructor

Dr. Joseph Gashō Amato

Coordinator, Japanese Music Program
Koto Instructor

Joseph Gashō Amato received his Ph.D. in composition in 1998 from New York University with primary studies in Italian contemporary music. In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious Bunka-chō Japanese Government Artists Fellowship to pursue formal study of Japanese music history and Japanese traditional musical instruments at Seiha Hōgaku-kai. Since then, he continued studies receiving his teaching license (junshihan) and his professional name Gashō in 2003.

Currently, he is founder and director of the International Center for Japanese Culture since its inception in 2011. Before ICJC, Dr. Amato founded the Yokohama International School Japanese music program in 2003 and served as its director until 2011.

Pursuing his work on sharing Japanese traditional music and culture on the international level, in 2017 Dr. Amato founded and serves as President of Japanese Culture Promotion and Management an NPO dedicated to supporting Japanese traditional arts and culture. He is  the coordinator of the Morikami Museum Japanese summer traditional music program located in Delray Beach, Florida, USA.


This project is sponsored in part by the The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

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