Thursday, March 20, 2014

A picture is worth 1,000 excuses.

We were packing up after our last in-studio rehearsal for our annual concert when one of the song leaders showed me a picture he had taken of me.  The note had been made before that I needed to lower my head in the beginning of this song, and I thought I had been doing it ok since then.

Nope!  The picture he showed me had my head clearly not tilted enough and I realized I had to exaggerate what I thought was “ok”.  It was exactly what I needed to see in order to fix things.

This is something that can benefit both the teachers and the students out there.  I’ve said how recording things during practice is very useful – and still is – but a picture to demonstrate a point is also really useful.  If someone is leaning in a weird way, holding their bachi poorly, not making the right expressions, etc., a picture will show proof.

There’s always the chance someone will come back with “well that was a fluke” or “I don’t normally do that.”  If they are confronted with proof of the issue and have trouble accepting it, well that’s a larger problem.

If you are shown a picture that highlights something a person wants you to fix, maybe it’s not always easy to accept it, but now you have a really good tool to help change things.  You now know what you’re doing, so you can adjust, exaggerate, tweak – whatever it takes!

So if you’re trying to work on something kata-related, maybe ask a friend to take pictures at certain times from different angles, so you can see for yourself what it looks like.  As with most analysis like this, it’s not always easy to digest, but it does get easier and ultimately can make you a stronger artist.

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