Meaningful Critiques

As a working church musician, I often hear from church members "loved the music today" or "great job, as usual." Like most people, I like to be appreciated, but in order for me to do my best, I need useful feedback. You do not have to be an expert in music to help me do a better job, and you do not have to criticize, which nice people do not enjoy doing. Just tell me, in your own way, what you "loved" at this particular service, or if it is a concert, at this particular performance. Which piece did you like the best? How did it make you feel? Did it remind you of something you have seen or heard? One piano piece I played recently was based on Psalm 23. The middle section was arpeggios lightly running up and down the keys. One listener shared with me "it sounded like rippling water." That comment told me this listener was really listening, and her imagination was inspired by this piece. I have been surprised many times by what piece is appreciated by someone, often not the piece I would have suspected of being particularly moving or interesting. As I choose pieces for future services, or performances, knowing what inspired or touched a listener will help me make better choices.

Kiwi popsicle

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