January 24, 2015

Music Relieves Loneliness

There are many reasons to feel lonely. You might be new to the area. You might be in a new situation. You might have troubles that you cannot share. But music can help relieve that loneliness. Tomoko has experienced – and witnessed -- both the loneliness and the way that music can relieve that loneliness.

When Tomoko entered a prestigious high school she knew no one, and her prior education had been in public schools, so the expectations were new for her. Because a teacher knew about Tomoko’s love of music and her burgeoning piano playing, Tomoko was asked to accompany the school’s singing group. This action provided a natural inroad to acceptance and friends.

Tomoko took a brave chance immigrating to the United States, and stated alone at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. By then, Tomoko knew that music brought people together, and she formed friends as school. The connections as school also led to her finding a place to live.

Nevertheless, it was sometimes lonely living in the city. One Sunday morning Tomoko heard a charming melody floating outside a church door. Intrigued by the music, Tomoko entered, and was warmly greeted. Parishioners asked, “Would you like to come to lunch?” Later they socialized at a member’s home, where one of the guests mentioned, “My daughter wants so much to have music lessons.” That desire led to Tomoko’s teaching piano in the community. Tomoko reflects, “God is guiding me.” One could also say that music guides her as well.

Tomoko has seen time after time how music joins people: at church, in concerts, even open air spontaneous performance. “Real music is everywhere,” says Tomoko. “The perfomer communicates emotion with the audience,” Tomoko believes, and that emotion is experienced jointly by the audience, so they have a feeling of belonging. By sharing music, people feel connected and less alone.

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