Masa Iwasaki

Masa Iwasaki

Adjunct Instructor of Music


Masa is originally from Tokyo, Japan. While in Tokyo, he performed six days a week with different musical groups. He moved to Dubuque in 1989 to attend Loras College ESL program. After completion of the program, he continued his education at Loras College. He earned a Music and Music Education degree (Cum Laude) from Loras College in 1996.

He has taught percussion as an adjunct instructor at Divine Word College since 2012, Loras College since 1996, Clarke University since 2001 and University of Dubuque since 2009, and private lessons in his home studio. He is also a guest clinician and mentor for local middle and high schools.

He has performed many different musical styles with many musical groups both locally and nationally, including The Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, David Somerville, The Chordettes, Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Russ Morgan Orchestra, Sammy Kay Orchestra, Ellis Marsalis and many others. He has performed numerous musicals, concerts and shows at The Grand Opera House and The Bell Tower Theater in Dubuque, Iowa and multiple other venues from the Midwest to the East coast.


B.A. – Loras College, Dubuque, IA (Music and Music Education)
Berklee College of Music in Japan, Hamamatsu, Japan, 1988
Sound School, Tokyo, Japan, 1982

Courses Taught

Applied Drums

Professional Affiliations

Percussionist - Dubuque Symphony Orchestra


Japanese, English

Intercultural Experience

While I was still in Tokyo, Japan, I saw many people from all over the world. My first intercultural experience was when I was in 7th grade. My relatives were visiting from Lima, Peru. They spoke only Spanish, and I didn’t understand what they were saying. The only option for communication was by gestures or drawing pictures on paper.

My second intercultural experience was when I was still in Tokyo, Japan. I was taking percussion lessons from Mr. Louis De Andrade. He is an American. He was from Boston, Massachusetts. After he and his wife (Japanese) graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, they moved to Tokyo to teach music lessons.

Since I was a child, I have been very interested in the country of “America.” I grew up watching American TV shows, movies and listening to American music. I decided to come to America to see their culture and study English. This was the most life-changing intercultural experience I have ever had. I’m happily married to my American wife. We have two children, a cat and a dog.

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