Perspective & Diversity

Perspective & Diversity

Amelia Chan

 

I’ve been invited to be a contributor in this collective of movement people and thinkers called ThinkMovement. I was frankly surprised, but so very honored, by this invitation – as these are not only people whom I have a lot of respect for, but also from whom I’ve been learning a ton.

There are so many lenses through which one can approach any subject, and I appreciate the diversity in this group. Diversity to me, in a pure and unpoliticized sense, is at its core about being open to learning and receiving via different-same alongside same-same. (Tolerance has nothing to do with it.) Same-same is essential too, it allows exploration in depth. But it’s limiting in terms of expansion, and it doesn’t give you enough space to identify inherent flaws in pre-conceived notions and beliefs. Different-same gives you breadth. It gives you imagination and innovation. Both depth and breadth are crucial and are not mutually exclusive.

Writing my questionnaire for ThinkMovement got me thinking about the different perspective that I hold from most of the others over there. See, I’m not even such an active or physical person in general. I in fact think about movement more than I actually move! Getting out of my head has always been a struggle. But there’s one overarching guidance I have that is perhaps unique in that group, which is that I answer to sound. Sound always, always, tell me whether I’m moving my body efficiently (which basically translates to having good technique, which translates to the body moving well). Sometimes when I can’t tell how I’m moving, I’d know instantly as soon as I play (Same when I play other instruments). When I am lost about how to work on the body, having the instrument and making music immediately give me a focal point to at least know where to start. Same with teaching. When it is not obvious visually that there’s a kink somewhere in a student’s technique, their tone is an immediate giveaway. From there, we try to figure out where the problem lies. While making music takes a lot more than just the physical, I think the quality of tone itself is almost completely dictated by how well one moves through the ENTIRE body. It’s a whole lot more than to play “relaxed” or “tense”. As someone who can sometimes think in too-nebulous terms, who sometimes almost sees too much inter-connectedness than is good for me, having sound as a bit of an absolute to answer to is quite a comfort.

Anyway… I’m just so happy to have my voice be a part of this mix of awesome people.

Editor’s note:  And we’re so happy to have you!

 

 

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