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    Dear Artist: Here’s How To Take Criticism, Make It Work For You

    It’s understandable for a musician to be sensitive about their music.

    Art is a reflection of the thought process and ideals of an artist. It is essentially an extension of them. Also, a song, let alone an album, requires a lot of creative and technical labor to put together. So, once a musician finally produces this melody that they’ve worked so hard to make, they may be emotional when faced with criticism. Here’s the thing: people are going to have opinions about  music. That is just a fact that a musician cannot control. What a musician can control, though, is how they react to those opinions, particular critiques. There is a right way and there is a wrong way.

    The Wrong Way

    The wrong way to take criticism on music is to completely dismiss it. No matter how good a musician is, they are not perfect. There is always room for growth in any art; music is no exception to this rule. By listening to critics, a musician can find weak areas in their music that they need to strengthen. By ignoring critics, a musician could never find those areas and they’ll continue to be weak. An example is the recent attack on Wanna Thompson by Nicki Minaj.

    In late June, after critiquing Minaj’s work, Thompson opened her twitter DMs to find the artist maliciously attacking her for it. Minaj disregarded all of the points brought up by Thompson and used personal insults as a way to discredit her criticism. If you are a musician reading this article, that is the exact opposite of what you want to do.

    First of all, no music journalist should be denigrated like that for their opinion. Also, Minaj may have overlooked an aspect of her music that could be improved upon. Now, not all criticism is valid. There is plenty of outright unintelligent analysis’s. However, a musician needs to still listen to them. There could be good or bad advice from critics. An artist will never know unless they listen.

    The Right Way

    The right way to take criticism on music is to acknowledge it. A musician needs to both review their own works and criticism. From there, they can decide whether the criticism is valid or not. Musicians need to let go of their egos if they really want to make great music. While some skill in music can come naturally, a large majority of it is produced from time and practice. Most artists have to work hard at developing their own style of music. They need to be constantly improving and changing their work. While criticism might not be fun to listen to, it can illuminate functions of an artist’s music and hold them back. An artist listening to a critique can find good advice to take their music to the next level. From there, they can become better.

    It does not matter what you do. You are not perfect. You can be critiqued what produce, especially if you do a creative form of expression, such as music. But, how you react to it, can define how good you will be.

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