Taka Shimojima

A second-generation settler on Canada (Turtle Island), Taka resides on the unceded, traditional lands of the Tsleil Wau-tuth, Musqueam, and Sto:lo people. A mostly self-taught musician, Taka’s love for the musical arts began at a young age of 3. Singing from an early age, he also picked up piano around age 6, and began exhibiting strong signs of pitch matching and pitch memory. Being able to retain melodic sequences and identify them on an electric piano, Taka eventually learned to play entire songs from memory through obsessively listening and determining the correct melodies and harmonies. He grew up listening to musical genres like ballads, pop, Christmas tunes, and J-pop (Japanese pop), all of which strengthened and honed his love for pitches, rhythm, and tuning. His love of harmony, rhythm, and melody, along with a glowing reference letter from the late John Trepp, led him to eventually completing his Bachelor of Music from UBC and subsequently, is Bachelor of Education at SFU, where he completed his teacher education (PDP).

Taka also has over a decade of experience in Vancouver’s performing vocal arts, including eight seasons with musica intima, and contracted work with Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Cantata Singers, and many other reputable choral organizations in the Lower Mainland. During his time singing with a multitude of choral organizations, Taka also spent time working with secondary schools in Metro Vancouver, doing work such as workshops, clinics, and masterclasses. He was a guest soloist to perform the popular Christmas tune, “Silent Night” on Global BC’s morning music segment with musica intima in 2016, and is a Featured Performer on Andrew Balfour and musica intima’s JUNO-nominated album, NAGAMO, from 2023. Taka has also lent his vocal talents to the film industry, where he is credited as a singer for Netflix titles such as “The Willoughbys” (2020), and “Away” (2020).

Currently, Taka keeps himself busy at VAM as a YACP instructor for Ear Training, ATET instructor for adult learning, and a private instructor for voice, ear training, theory, and musicianship. Apart from his work at VAM, Taka also does TTOC work for the Surrey School District. You can also hear him singing as part of a vocal quartet with organ at Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral on Sunday mornings during the 11am mass. Among all the music he engages with, his favourite musical styles currently include Hip-Hop, RnB, pop, funk, soul, jazz fusion, city pop, gospel, and Motown.

Taka is deeply passionate about all things singing, music, learning, teaching, education, and pedagogy. His dynamic schedule often keeps him busy with 12+ hour days, but when not at work, Taka’s interests include fitness, cooking, health, diet/nutrition, and watching shows/movies. He also enjoys listening to podcasts about self-development, success, leadership, business and finance, and he very much enjoys a quality bowl of phở.