Showing is Better than Telling

Best wishes for your health in this hot season.

In the past, people probably practiced every day. That must have been very hard work for both the teacher and the students. Teachers had to know many pieces. If they didn’t, they’d soon run out of material and would have nothing more to teach their students. So it seems to me that it must have been difficult for both the teachers and the students.

In the past, teaching was not systematic. In the lessons, discussion was considered to be unnecessary. If students asked about the theory of the art they were studying: “Why ?”, “How ?”, they didn’t get an answer.

Teachers’ attitude was that students should remember exactly what their teacher had showed them, and should perform exactly what they had studied.

Both art and skill do not progress if theory comes before the skill or the art. This was true in the past, and is true now as well.

If students do exactly what their teacher tells them, some day they may, possibly, reach the level of skill of their teacher.

In order to improve, students should do exactly what their teacher demonstrates in their lessons. As the saying goes, “Showing is better than telling.”

Combining aesthetic appreciation, aptitude, and talent is the challenge for students.

After they have made a little progress, some students think that they are really terrific. Such people are actually at dead end, and will never truly improve their skill.

The most important thing when studying the arts is to practice hard, continuing that for a long time, while enjoying yourself.

Through their art, both teachers and students train their spirit and aim at a satisfying life.

Teaching is learning, or in other words, learning is teaching. That is, teachers and students both improve through working together.

Tsuruga Wakasanojo
Chairman, Shinnai Association
July 29, 2012

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