Magic Monday: Conquering the Voice of Critics

The voice of the critic echoes long after the words are said.  Sometimes years.  And sometimes they are never forgotten.  Words of criticism in response to our own creations seem to cut deeper than the usual remarks of reproof.

As a professional musician I had ample opportunities for criticism, no matter how elegantly it may have been disguised.

Here are my two favorites over the years:

1.  (At my end of the term summary lesson with my opera extraordinaire voice teacher)

Oh Brooke!  You have clearly mastered your breathing, your enunciation, your vowels!… I think all we need to focus on in the future is producing a more… hmmm.  ‘beautiful sound’! “

2.  (From my Jazz Piano Professor during a private lesson—-keep in mind I was classically trained for 13 years prior)

“Brooke… Listening to you play Jazz, is like listening to me speak French…


Both comments came from experts in the field, and although not forthrightly discouraging, they clearly allude to my lack of ability.

I treated each comment differently, and the results are apparent.

1.  That was my last voice lesson.  Ever.  Despite finding myself in choirs and a small singing group where I obediently confined myself to the label of “choir participant…no solo quality voice whatsoever”, thirteen years have passed and I still allow her comment to limit me from ever progressing beyond where I was back then.  “I’m not good enough”, I tell myself.  And there I stay.

2.  As far as the Jazz music goes… Dr. Smith was right.  I wasn’t a native speaker!  BUT!  I challenged myself to become more educated.  I listened to more jazz music, I continued to take lessons, and four years later I found myself as the primary jazz pianist for the University Jazz orchestra.  (I’m still not fluent in the language of Jazz… But I can certainly carry on a delightful musical conversation at the piano that would probably even make Dr. Smith slightly crack a smile into his stoic straight face 😉

Sometimes the battle lies more with the critic within ourselves (which I believe often stems from experiences from an external critic somewhere in our life), but regardless, we have a choice.

We can choose to allow the words to paralyze our progress, or treat it like a challenge.

We all have room for improvement in whatever our creative aspirations.

What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Napoleon Hill

Believe in Yourself!  This is your year!  Choose to conquer the critics voice and find yourself further along the path in 2011.

How are you going to get there?  What do you have planned to help you progress?

avatarsBrooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  Brooke specializes as a Utah Senior photographer, Logan Senior photographer, Utah Family Photographer, Logan Family Photographer, Logan childrens photographer , Utah Childrens Photographer and is a photography teacher who enjoys teaching private photography lessons as well as monthly photography classes in Logan, Utah.

11 Responses

  1. Brooke, I just want to say… for the record… IN MY BOOK OF VOICES… Yours is BEAUTIFUL! Anybody who told you otherwise is crazy. Of all the people in New Horizons, you had one of the easiest voices to listen to.

    I mean that. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.

    Love this post. Love your blog. Love you! Thanks for taking the time to encourage others. There have been so many times I’m having a hard day, and I find something so uplifting here.

    You’re wonderful.

  2. “Sometimes the battle lies more with the critic within ourselves.” This describes so many of us, especially me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I needed it this morning.

  3. i love this. you are awesome. And i think you should try singing again. Take a few lessons from Tara after she’s done having her baby. She’s an amazing voice teacher, and helps you find what fits you. I took classical, and never ever had true confidence. Here i was 9 years later, and i finally felt confident for once.

  4. my singing teacher is the single most beautiful person i have ever met in my life.
    just the day before we were talking about music and teaching( he has been teaching for over 60 years)
    and how he never ever criticizes anyone. i said , isnt that not going to help anyone?cause if they sing bad , they will continue to sing bad. he said . no it wont.look. they have come to my place to learn to sing.why discourage them by saying bad. why tag them? they ll get discouraged and go away. instead make them aware of how to sing better and with more gentleness 🙂

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