Since it’s the holiday time, families come to mind. They are certainly important to Tomoko, and have shaped her life and career.
Her mother’s love of music, and her family’s support of musical performance, started Tomoko in her own lifelong dedication to music. She also became interested in playing because of her brother’s music lessons.
Tomoko recognized her own daughter’s love of performance – in skating. Because of her own musical training, Tomoko also understood the need for constant practice, and for family sacrifice, to make the dream of skating a reality. “Even one week without practice will be embarrassing.” To that end, Tomoko spent hours transporting her daughter to practice and competitions, and some of the money Tomoko made as a teacher also went to help finance her daughter’s love. However, Tomoko is quick to say, “To be accomplished once in your life is something you cannot buy.”
Tomoko was also able to use her own experience in music competitions to help her daughter in such activities. “My daughter gave me that chance to participate in her life, and to give her advice.” Tomoko asserts, “There’s a science behind competition, which you need to know.” Tomoko would explain to her daughter Beata: “Be proud of yourself, but do not show emotions before the competition.” She also gave good advice about judges: “Do not bring up the topic of the composition with judges. Be polite and respectful, and do not criticize.”
Beata has become successful in realizing her dream. She performed in the Olympics, and continues to perform as well as coach. And Tomoko also continues to perform and teach.
It should be noted that Tomoko’s husband – and Beata’s father – has also been very supportive of his family’s loves. Even though he is not a musician nor a skater, he appreciates music and movement -- and loves his family.
During this holiday season, let us enjoy our families and show how much they mean to use through our actions.