Especially when it comes to our music. We know a large number of people who play better than we do. And if we are adults who came to the harp in adulthood, many of them are still children!
- make mistakes when playing
- are learning tunes
- are sometimes chagrined when they are not having a good day (my experience has been that this is especially highlighted when teaching!)
- may also be feeling this same way - and with much more at stake!
- Pretend the critic is talking about your friend, mother, spouse – wouldn’t you tell that critic to stop and start listing all the reasons they are wrong? Of course you would! The critic only has the power you grant – therefore if you defend yourself vigorously, the critic will recede.
- Do not compare yourself to others – only to yourself. I suggest that my students make a recording annually (usually at the New Year). The idea is to record what they are doing at that point in time – playing whatever they happen to be working on. They periodically go back and listen to the recording in its entirety so they can hear for themselves how much they have improved. They can compare themselves to their previous performance – the only comparison that matters!
- Listen to others – I guarantee you that only the meanest of people would seek you out to deliver a cutting critique. When people hear you play and tell you how much they enjoyed your playing, when a respected teacher tells you what a good job you’ve done, when someone asks you to play – they are being honest!!! Believe them and enjoy knowing you’ve done well.