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Old 07-21-2020, 09:21 AM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: Constructive Criticism for Pipers

Originally Posted by pancelticpiper View Post
Sorry I was referring to the ground rules in art "crit" classes.

I was just mentioning that critique culture as an example of maintaining a neutral critique environment. It works only because the ground rules are understood and respected by all participants.

It forces deep thought, careful consideration, and precise expression. The problem with opinions was well expressed by a friend who said "opinions are like _____ , everybody has one."
In watching a bit of this 'debate', I agree with you, pancelticpiper. Whether our experience comes from our education, vocation, or other....or whether it comes from judging/critiquing...or all above, a lot comes down to the mutual goals, and the willingness of the person being critiqued to accept comments.

In general, as you've outlined, people respond better--and thus are more likely to receive comments--when the approach is supportive, yet still honest. Most of us have simple requirements. We want to know that we're heard and that we're respected; just to name a couple (I could go into a whole litany of our 'needs', but won't). And so there are many ways of generating a critique that provides the message that we heard, that we respect (the attempt?), and to provide comments of "ways to improve"...which at least gives a base from which the person feels he/she can work. The important feature is that if the person receiving the critique goes what some of us call "closed channel" (shut down), none of it matters. This applies to virtually any scenario: debates, therapy, critiques, etc.

On a related topic, specifically to judging/critiquing piping, drumming, dancing, and so forth, some common complaints I hear from competitors is that the judge was totally negative (even brutal), focused on like/not like, gave no helpful ways to improve, had no comments about anything done decently, and/or says virtually nothing (e.g., I've seen some comment sheets with nothing but check marks! No comments).
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