November 21, 2016

Keeping In Touch

               The holidays provide wonderful opportunities to keep in touch. Music offers another rich set of ways to connect with each other. Tomoko takes advantage of these many options.
               Tomoko’s students have stayed in touch with her over the fifty years that she has taught, sending her letters of appreciation, as well as bringing their children to become Tomoko’s students. They have not only attended her recitals, but have also recorded them to share with their friends. On her part, Tomoko has invited her students, both past and present, to perform at the recitals that she plans. She even performs along side them in compelling duets.
               As a professional pianist, Tomoko has used music as a way to “break the ice” in new situations, using the universal language of music to make connections and start friendships. “My English was not so good, so the music spoke for me,” she recalls. Likewise, Tomoko continues her professional associations by performing with her musician colleagues, and corresponding with them. More than once her musical friends have connected Tomoko with their own children, visiting at home or writing to keep in touch.
               In each formal performance, Tomoko connects with her audience through her interpretation of the music she performs. She serves as a translator between the composer and the listener, capturing the intent of the composition and expressing it intellectually, emotionally and kinesthetically.
               A recital, concert or other musical event also enables people to connect with each other because of the music. It is both a personal and communal experience. When the audience is asked to join in the music, be it in song or dance, they contribute substantially to that connectedness.
               And even without direct contact, Tomoko connects with her associates and students through the performances she has recorded – and her own memory. She says, “I can remember the pieces I gave the students 40 years ago.”
               This season may everyone keep in touch through music. It helps to make a harmonious world.

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