Constructive vs. Destructive Criticism
Perhaps not so obvious to some is the big difference in effect between constructive and destructive criticism. I’m bringing this up now, because how you critique yourself will either advance or thwart your progress as a singer and performer. Let’s start with a working understanding of Destructive Criticism as fault finding that does not at the same time provide a means by which to correct or enhance your actions.
The result can often be that you feel less sure of yourself. You may feel hesitant about continuing to sing or perform. It reduces your self-esteem. Examples of destructive criticism could be: “I sounded horrible on that song” or “You call that singing?” or more subtly, “What’s wrong with me? I never open up to an audience.”
Now let’s define Constructive Criticism as acknowledgment of the positive aspects and pointing out errors in a way that indicates how to remedy them. This does not imply that you say something was good when it was not. That’s actually covertly destructive because the deception infers that you can’t deal with the truth; which is a lie and a criticism of your capabilities.
Constructive criticism directs you to a way of changing your approach so that you can become more expert, stronger and more certain. An example of this would be: “Overall that performance was good, but that high note in the chorus went off pitch. The reason it did was because I held my stomach in causing air over-blow and tension in my throat muscles. I’ll sing it again and this time try letting my stomach relax.” Or even simpler, “That wasn’t bad, but I can put more feeling into that song. Let’s do it again from the beginning.”