Maria’s Babies Society

By on March 29, 2010

Among the primary concerns many international parents face is which international school in Tokyo is best-suited for their child. Maria’s Babies Society offers a safe haven encouraging the creativity of children and their growth as responsible, worldly people. The school has high academic standards in accordance to a British curriculum, allowing children to receive advanced education and get a head start in reading.


At Maria’s Babies Society, children’s education relies vastly on its arts programs. While the school has a balanced curriculum of languages, maths, and sciences; their main programs employ music and the fine arts to cultivate children’s sensibilities. 


In the music program, a student is taught to play the violin; taught by professional musicians in brief but highly productive sessions four times per week, proceeded by practice at home. The string instrument in particular was chosen to "open" children’s hearing, or conditioning them to hear a variety of frequencies that will aid them to become strong listeners and adapt easily to new languages learnt later in life. Children are taught to "decode" the music – to distinguish between the characteristics of sounds and learn to express them. 


Mrs. Maria Matsuoka, the school’s headmistress, notes that the program is not simply academic. "We feel that music – harmony, melody, and rhythm – is the principle of life," she notes. "Music itself is not just an academic study; it is about life as well."


The violin lessons’ brevity synchs with children’s attention spans; their frequency, however, appeals to children’s affinity for repetition, which speeds up their learning. In the past, the school had weekly lessons; since switching to the new four-lessons-per-week format, students were able to learn within one week a piece of music that would have taken two months previously.

The fine arts program focuses on a variety of different media. For three months, artistic professionals from around the world work with the children in creating arts and crafts, weaving, cloth-dyeing, smithing, designing, sculpting, film-making, etc. Through the program’s diverse projects, children learn how to apply a variety of expressions into different situations.


Established in 1985, Maria’s Babies Society started as a school emphasizing mother-and-child bonding, operating in partnership with the Imperial Gift Foundation of Aiiku Society. Through the years, the school evolved into one centered on formative years education (for children aged 0-7), rather than becoming a preparatory institution for international schools.


The school employs the BBS system which mixes all age groups for playtime or other activities. Children are not sorted into groups according to their birth years, but by their assessment of developmental level; and by interacting together at certain periods, the younger children have the opportunity to learn from the older ones, while the latter learn to be responsible for and tolerant of the former. The school also provides inclusive education; every class has space for one child with special needs.


Maria’s Babies Society offers a variety of programs; its main one is the morning program, for children up to 6 years old, on weekdays from 9:15am to 2:15pm. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the school’s afternoon baby program caters to infants from 7 months from 1 to 4pm. Also available are the Year One (5-6 years), and Little Diplomats (3-5 years) programs, and the After-school Preparatory Class (6-7 years).


Due to popular request from working mothers, a full-day program will operate this spring, catering to children until 6:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


From mid-May, children may also apply for Maria’s Babies Society’s two-week summer programs. Every year, the program selects a cultural theme and creates an in-school house which children build while learning about a new concept; the past year’s theme was Switzerland, in which the students modeled the house after Heidi’s (of children’s tale, Heidi, Girl of the Alps) home in the Swiss mountains.


If your children need an environment providing a head start in academic education and supporting their creativity, Maria’s Babies Society offers just that. 



Maria’s Babies Society

101, 36-20, Jingumae 3-Chome, Shibuya-ku,Tokyo

Tel: (03) 3404-3468  Fax: (03) 3404-3625

About Martin Leroux