Monday, December 1, 2014

Why J.K. Simmons in Whiplash is on my mind

I remember singing in a competitive vocal jazz group in high-school. I considered myself to be one of the best singers in the group and I had the lead in an Al Jarreau song "Not Like This." We were singing for members of Berkley Music institute down in Boston MA. After we finished, we all felt we had done well. At least that was what our parents were telling us. When the instructor asked me to come on stage and began to tell me that I wasn't breathing right, that my support was coming from my chest instead of my diaphragm. As a matter of fact she said that I wasn't very good at all. Being crushed, I was at least able to feel some sort of comfort from one of the other students parents who told me that the instructor didn't know what she was talking about.
Now even though I was embarrassed, you know what? When it mattered, I never took an improper musical breath again. This past weekend I was able to experience the message from J.K. Simmons in whiplash. Thinking of having a teacher like that terrified me. "I wouldn't respond well to that type of teacher." But then again, he wasn't teaching everyday joe's who wanted to maybe get better. He was trying to find the greats. And in order to be Great, you cannot settle. Ever. Period.


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