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How to Offer Critique
#1
The CSN forum is built on your critiques.  In order to keep the forum active, alive, and growing, we ask that you offer three critiques for every song you post for critique.   Don't let that make you nervous though!

Be assured--Most anyone Can Critique!  Everyone has a thought, a feeling, or an opinion when they hear a song for the first time.  We are often taught to keep our opinions to ourselves, but not here on CSN!!  Those early reflections from the average Jane or average Joe are of tremendous value for a writer.  We want to help you capture those early auditions (listening to a song) and share them in a way that will be most helpful!  Here are some general principles to get you started:

Be considerate
of the grade of critique requested:  1—Be gentle.  2—Be courageous.  3—be bold! Always be loving!
It helps to sandwich constructive criticism between reflections of things you sincerely liked.  Maybe start out with the first thing that struck you that you liked and close with a word of encouragement based on a positive quality you encountered in the listen. 

Be as honest
.  You do not have to tell them everything you think.  But what you do share should be truly what you think or feel.  Flattery and platitudes do not help and may even harm. 

Be as specific
as you can.  Vague reflections can be encouraging if good and discouraging if bad.  Both positive and negative reflections can be very helpful if they are specific—The key question to answer is Why.  Why do I think this?  Why do I like it?

Be humble
--“I think/My personal opinion/I felt/I experienced . . . ”

Be aware of your point of view
.  We all have denominational/doctrinal backgrounds that we tend to carry into conversations.    Do not argue over things that have been debated for centuries!  Some things are said directly in Scripture.  Others are derived from Scripture.  Be confident in what is written and humble about what is not!  Bear with the scruples of others and make it a point not to put a stumbling block before your brother!

Be yourself
—you do not have to be a music major or producer to share, but you can if you are one!

Things to consider:

Theology—Biblically sound?
Purpose
Audience
Theme/Message
Hook—what gets your attention?
Poetic devices—Imagery! Imagery! Imagery! Simile, metaphor, personification  consonance, alliteration…
Thought flow—what holds your attention to the end?
Length—too long, too short
Structure—logical way the song is set up
Meter—number of syllables per line
Foot—pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables
Rhyme—Pure rhyme, near rhyme, half rhyme
Delivery—vocal/instrumental
Style
Melody/tune—floral and pretty or a tuneless wonder!

Called to, "Teach the word of the Lord; sing it to the nations loud and clear."
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#2
(03-09-2016, 02:12 PM)Sarah Noll Wrote: The CSN forum is built on your critiques.  In order to keep the forum active, alive, and growing, we ask that you offer three critiques for every song you post for critique.   Don't let that make you nervous though!

Be assured--Most anyone Can Critique!  Everyone has a thought, a feeling, or an opinion when they hear a song for the first time.  We are often taught to keep our opinions to ourselves, but not here on CSN!!  Those early reflections from the average Jane or average Joe are of tremendous value for a writer.  We want to help you capture those early auditions (listening to a song) and share them in a way that will be most helpful!  Here are some general principles to get you started:

Be considerate
of the grade of critique requested:  1—Be gentle.  2—Be courageous.  3—be bold! Always be loving!
It helps to sandwich constructive criticism between reflections of things you sincerely liked.  Maybe start out with the first thing that struck you that you liked and close with a word of encouragement based on a positive quality you encountered in the listen. 

Be as honest
.  You do not have to tell them everything you think.  But what you do share should be truly what you think or feel.  Flattery and platitudes do not help and may even harm. 

Be as specific
as you can.  Vague reflections can be encouraging if good and discouraging if bad.  Both positive and negative reflections can be very helpful if they are specific—The key question to answer is Why.  Why do I think this?  Why do I like it?

Be humble
--“I think/My personal opinion/I felt/I experienced . . . ”

Be aware of your point of view
.  We all have denominational/doctrinal backgrounds that we tend to carry into conversations.    Do not argue over things that have been debated for centuries!  Some things are said directly in Scripture.  Others are derived from Scripture.  Be confident in what is written and humble about what is not!  Bear with the scruples of others and make it a point not to put a stumbling block before your brother!

Be yourself
—you do not have to be a music major or producer to share, but you can if you are one!

Things to consider:

Theology—Biblically sound?
Purpose
Audience
Theme/Message
Hook—what gets your attention?
Poetic devices—Imagery! Imagery! Imagery! Simile, metaphor, personification  consonance, alliteration…
Thought flow—what holds your attention to the end?
Length—too long, too short
Structure—logical way the song is set up
Meter—number of syllables per line
Foot—pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables
Rhyme—Pure rhyme, near rhyme, half rhyme
Delivery—vocal/instrumental
Style
Melody/tune—floral and pretty or a tuneless wonder!
Thank you Sarah,
   These are very helpful and a great standard by which we can measure our participation on each otherse work. As fellow aspiring songwriters and musicians we can see things on a deeper level and share what we've learned along the way. Critiquing each others material is a great way for us to grow in our craft and sharpen our skills. I feel fortunate to be a part of this group and have had my skills stretched in the short time that I've been here. God bless!

JordanC
Reply
#3
Sarah,

Thank you.  I agree with JordanC.  A privilege, honor to be part of God's work here on CSN.  Neil
Reply
#4
(03-09-2016, 02:12 PM)CSN Guest Wrote: The CSN forum is built on your critiques.  In order to keep the forum active, alive, and growing, we ask that you offer three critiques for every song you post for critique.   Don't let that make you nervous though!

Be assured--Most anyone Can Critique!  Everyone has a thought, a feeling, or an opinion when they hear a song for the first time.  We are often taught to keep our opinions to ourselves, but not here on CSN!!  Those early reflections from the average Jane or average Joe are of tremendous value for a writer.  We want to help you capture those early auditions (listening to a song) and share them in a way that will be most helpful!  Here are some general principles to get you started:

Be considerate
of the grade of critique requested:  1—Be gentle.  2—Be courageous.  3—be bold! Always be loving!
It helps to sandwich constructive criticism between reflections of things you sincerely liked.  Maybe start out with the first thing that struck you that you liked and close with a word of encouragement based on a positive quality you encountered in the listen. 

Be as honest
.  You do not have to tell them everything you think.  But what you do share should be truly what you think or feel.  Flattery and platitudes do not help and may even harm. 

Be as specific
as you can.  Vague reflections can be encouraging if good and discouraging if bad.  Both positive and negative reflections can be very helpful if they are specific—The key question to answer is Why.  Why do I think this?  Why do I like it?

Be humble
--“I think/My personal opinion/I felt/I experienced . . . ”

Be aware of your point of view
.  We all have denominational/doctrinal backgrounds that we tend to carry into conversations.    Do not argue over things that have been debated for centuries!  Some things are said directly in Scripture.  Others are derived from Scripture.  Be confident in what is written and humble about what is not!  Bear with the scruples of others and make it a point not to put a stumbling block before your brother!

Be yourself
—you do not have to be a music major or producer to share, but you can if you are one!

Things to consider:

Theology—Biblically sound?
Purpose
Audience
Theme/Message
Hook—what gets your attention?
Poetic devices—Imagery! Imagery! Imagery! Simile, metaphor, personification  consonance, alliteration…
Thought flow—what holds your attention to the end?
Length—too long, too short
Structure—logical way the song is set up
Meter—number of syllables per line
Foot—pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables
Rhyme—Pure rhyme, near rhyme, half rhyme
Delivery—vocal/instrumental
Style
Melody/tune—floral and pretty or a tuneless wonder!
Hi everyone,
I so much love the above post about "How to offer Critique"!
We are encouraged from the Scripture to speak the truth to one another, and the truth is best spoken in love. As musicians/songwriters, its better not to be too quick to point out mistakes in someone's work, instead let us celebrate first the good elements of that composition/music, followed by how the work can possibly be improved, and finally encourage the writer to keep on the good work.

Ola O
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