June 13, 2014

Connecting People through Music

Teaching piano is a social endeavor as a teacher relates to her student, and helps the student make a personal connection to music. Tomoko has made such social connections much of her life, both because she loves music but also because she loves to connect with people.

Even as a teenager, she taught people in her students’ homes, a practice she continued when she first came to the United States. Music made it possible for her to make connections with strangers, who became friends. She in turn uses music to connect people.

Each recital that Tomoko plans connects students and music to a larger audience. In a more public venue, Tomoko brought her students to San Francisco City Hall, where they played to over 200 people. One of the listeners, a homeless man, asked, “Can I play?” He played very well, and it made his day. Tomoko sees music as a “corner for exchanging ideas and skills.” It is no wonder that Tomoko appreciates public concerts that are open to all the people, such as San Francisco’s Stern Grove summer series of music performances.

Tomoko says, “Musical communication is the easiest; it needs no translation. It gives people a chance to know each other through their joint enjoyment of music. Being together with music generates a warm common feeling.”

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