Why did Tomoko go into music? She says, “Because it is honest -- and I love music.”
She watched her brother play, and she started playing her when she was seven years old: on the family organ.
Some youngsters stop playing the piano, or at least stop taking lessons, but Tomoko continued. She recalls, “My school required singing, and they expected me to play.” Tomoko thought to herself, “This is an opportunity. Hey, I can go it.”
In order to play well for her peers, Tomoko wanted to play well, “Like climbing a mountain. Learning to play well is challenging, and you have to keep moving.” Tomoko understood that music preparation helped her get smarter.
Music has also helped Tomoko make connections and gain friends. “The church welcomed me,” she said. Because of the quality of her performance, “People can respect me immediately.” Certainly, in international circles, music is an opening door, especially when the spoken word is hard to follow; “I don’t have to say anything.”
Tomoko thinks has a long-term commitment to music. She explains, “Music takes a long time to learn and gain over time. It is hard work, like sweat, but I sleep well.” She continues, “Music is part of my daily schedule. It is a discipline.” Music also keeps her young. “Music is energetic. We need to be energized and to use the energy we get from music. It’s like cycling; the more you do, the more oxygen you get; you feel fresher. And it helps maintain one’s hearing and memory.”
She concludes, "The companionship of music is lifelong."