CapRadio Classical and Jazz is celebrating Women in Music all month long including four spotlights on local musicians who have made an impact in our community.
Many people believe that music has transformative powers. It can get us through hard times, enhance just about any celebration and sometimes may even change how we see the world.
Sacramento pianist Natsuki Fukasawa believes that music can make us whole.
Fukasawa is a Steinway Artist and a local piano professor. She grew up in Japan and eventually moved to the U.S to study at the Juilliard School in New York. Fukasawa has performed all over the world including Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, Australia, Japan and China. She currently teaches at UC Davis, American River College and University of the Pacific, and has also taught at Sacramento State University.
Fukasawa recently spoke with CapRadio Classical Host Jennifer Reason to discuss her musical journey, the power of listening and her creative impact on the local music scene.
On what got her started in music
Well, my mother is a piano teacher, so I didn't really have a choice. I rebelled a lot in the beginning, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It's really funny because I'm 52 and for the first 50 years of my life I felt like I was practicing for the next 50 years. I hope to live a long life, you know.
On how music makes us better human beings
Music is so amazing. I think it's helping me to become more whole and I think that's what I want to do through my teaching. I want to help young people become more whole.
Each composer writes in such a subtly different way and from it we learn to read what they mean, what they intended. We have to become very sensitive listeners; attentive listeners to the composer, and also sensitive to others as sympathetic human beings. I think it's so important to nurture that. For me, music is helping us become better humans.
Advice on how to navigate a music career as a woman
I don't think it's just for females anymore because there is that kind of potential danger to any person who's vulnerable or young or too innocent to doubt. It doesn't matter who you are, if you want something just be careful.
On what’s special about being in the music scene in Sacramento
Sacramento is amazing because there is so much interest in music and there are so many people here who do things for the community. I just learned recently that my young high school students made a group called “Back to Bach” and they're going into schools, after school, and presenting music on their own. There are so many people like that.
On the power of music and why we should do it
You should do it. I keep telling people, if you make food well people will be around. People will come to you. Make nice music and people will come to you. Everybody should find their own music that they enjoy.
A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Natsuki Fukasawa. It has been corrected.