December 14, 2013

Family of music

A spirit of family may exist in the relationship between piano teacher and student. That is the case with Tomoko. She has students who are very loyal to her, and study with her for a decade or more.

In turn, these students may reflect the importance of family in their love of music. That is also the case with Tomoko, whose mother loved music and whose family bought an organ for the children to play.

One of Tomoko's longtime students Vivian shared with her about family inspiration of music. Vivian and her family lived in Vietnam. Her father was a young tutor of wealthy children. One rainy day on his way home from tutoring, he stopped and stood under his umbrella, inspired as he listened to someone playing Chopin. At that moment, he thought to himself: "If I have a daughter, she must study piano."

Indeed, he fathered Vivian, and she studies piano -- with Tomoko. "Vivian performs Chopin, Liszt, and Beethoven beautifully," says Tomoko. She continues, "Both her children studied piano with me throughout their childhood. So that moment of rain led to at least two generations of pianists, and most likely more."

That moment also speaks to the insight and determination of the father, who recently passed away.  His love of music -- and of his family -- continues. And the family of music continues and grows as well.

1 comment:

  1. From the moment I entered this world, music has played an integral role in my life. My involvement with music has changed through the years, and its meaning has evolved through time.

    The numerous years I spent studying under Ms. Hagiwara are ones I hold dear to my heart, ones that are characterized by hardship, passion, dedication, but most of all love.

    I realize now that music is love. For sharing is at the heart of the spirit of music, music is a means for one to convey emotions in its pure form to others. And in that way, emotions cannot be removed from the music.

    Since leaving the San Francisco Bay Area and having ventured off to the east coast and now Texas, I have encountered the many trials and tribulations a young individual commonly experiences when trying to find himself in this seemingly large world. Yet through it all, music has stood by my side. You see, music is a great listener and a great speaker, and thus a dear friend to me.

    When news that my grandfather had passed reached me, I was devastated to say the least. But since that time, I have had the opportunity to ponder the meaning and significance of the event in the context of my life.

    And after getting through all the sadness and pain associated with my loss of him, which never fully goes away, I realized the beauty of the song that was his life, a song that brought music into my mother’s life and thus mine as well, a song that cried pain from the terrors of war, and a song that displayed love for all the people in it.

    My grandfather may have left this world, but his life continues on in the song he left in my heart.

    Every day Ms. Hagiwara teaches the language of music to young individuals, another life is touched by love and compassion. I am blessed to have felt loved by music and every one who has brought it into my life, and in celebration of its spirit, I know I will continue to share it with those around me and with those to come.

    - Clifford Yu