Thursday, August 18, 2016

Better at teaching...or doing?

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Ok, you have two choices to choose from:

One, you can be really good at your art.  You could be someone people admire, aspire to be like, talk about favorably.  But you're not good at teaching.  You can't figure out how you do what you do, or maybe you're not good at communicating it, or maybe you don't have the temperament for it, etc. - but you at least know you're not good at teaching.

Two, you can be really good at teaching your art.  You could be someone that people turn to when they struggle, when they need advice, when they need things broken down or new perspectives.  People listen to what you say with respect.  But you're "just" good.  Not great, but solid enough so people understand you're not all theory.

Which would you choose?  Why?  And an even more interesting question, would you think less of someone who chose the opposite?  Why?


  1. I don't have to choose, I already fall in the second category. I think respect is given to both categories, for different reasons, by people who've got experience. It is impossible for someone who isn't an amazing performer to get recognition from the public at large, or from people who're new in the taiko world, and yes, to some extent, even from some of the old-timers. You're stuck with the "do as I say not as I do" mentality, because you can understand a concept very well and kinda put it into practice, but some of your students will always end up better than you. Is that a problem? Not necessarily. There is an immense need for people with that skillset in most groups I've encountered. The downside is that people tend to forget you're there. They see the people you train becoming really good but they don't see how much work you've put into making them great. Your satisfaction has to come from inside, from your own knowledge that you're making a difference, from seeing the changes and improvements happen. Not from external recognition.

  2. But it's possible to be an amazing performer and get recognition for that to also not be respected by people that know the person and/or have been in the art for a while.

    I feel like admiration is more given to people in the first category, while respect given to those in the second. And then that takes my original question and re-phrases it: would you rather be admired or respected?