October 19, 2014

Playing by Heart

Tomoko’s students all start out as amateurs, and some become professional musicians. However, Tomoko has deep respect for amateur musicians.

Musicians who make their living through performance have an added burden that amateur musicians do not. Tomoko says, “In rehearsals professional musicians might be thinking about how they are going to make enough money.”  She continues, “Professionals sometimes get tired and frustrated.”

On the other hand, “When I see an amateur orchestra, I see smiles because the performance do not have to worry about depending on money to play,” Tomoko points out. “They tend to be well bred. They have the talent and discipline, but not that added stress.”

Tomoko notes that the San Francisco Symphony does not hire a professional chorus; the members are all volunteers. “Their singing comes from the heart.” Tomoko goes on to say, “They love what they do, which leads to power.” She concludes, “The result is a rich sound and feeling.”

For this reason, Tomoko enjoys performing with amateurs, and is supportive of all her students because she knows that each one of them can enjoy a life of music, even if they never get paid for it.