Empty Praise...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by BrianT, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    When I lived in London, I used to play in the church band and I also rehearsed the band midweek ready for Sunday. Generally the reponse from the congregation was pretty positive. But there was one chap who only ever criticised. "Too Loud!" he'd say. "I can't hear the words", or "You repeat the verses too many times". Nothing was ever right.

    But imagine how delighted I was when once (just the once mind) he actually said it had been good!

    The question is, do we believe people more when they praise our playing, or when they criticise us?
  2. ratley

    ratley Member

    I only remember one occasion when I was praised for my playing - the MD called the rehearsal to a complete halt and said "That's exactly how that should be played Kay", I was so embarrassed that I hardly played another note for the rest of the evening....

  3. glidng_slide

    glidng_slide Member

    Maybe this guy should become an adjudicator!!!

    On a serious note, the band takes direction from the man in the middle, and its his job to interpret both the music, and the audience. If the man in the middle is happy then I wouldnt worry, if he isn't happy, then thats the best critism the band could get and can only work to improve on.

    I would suggest that the chap takes up the baton in order to show him just how difficult a job it is.

    Its always nice to be praised by members of the audience, and am sure we would be the first to criticise our own playing. We offer a service that is hard to beat, and we shouldnt get ourselves caught up in the comments of the few, unless of course they hold the cheque book.
  4. It depends on your personality as to what we believe and take to heart. I often take things rather personally but in moments of high confidence I'm o.k.
    There is a saying - 'one enemy can do more harm than ten friends can do good'.
    Apart from that, I agree with gliding_slide, listen to the person in the middle.
  5. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    I'm a primary school teacher and in training and on courses, we are always told that the ratio of praise to criticism should be 3:1.
    For every time you want to criticise, you should make sure you've praised them about three things. When I mark my kids' work, I give them "three stars a wish", so I find three things I like about the piece of work and then write "I wish you would... use full stops and capital letters" or something like that.
    If you only ever hear criticism, it is very easy to feel despondant and want to give up. I came close to defecting to another brass band in the summer holidays when our regular conductor was away because all we got was criticism, even on the bandstand, within earshot of the audience. A certain member of the band kept criticising everything as well and even when we made improvements, these weren't noticed or mentioned.
    Things improved a lot when we went on tour, I had a few glasses of white wine and told this person that if he needed to remember to praise us occasionally. And we have our normal MD back as well, so things are fine now, because he criticises in a nice way!
    I think everyone should remember that we play in brass bands for fun, it's meant to be a hobby.
  6. ratley

    ratley Member

  7. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I felt really chuffed, like I'd earned the compliment, seeing as it was so hard to get the guy to say anything positive.

    What's more motivating? Someone who criticises nearly all the time, and only very occasionally says something nice (Gordon Ramsay style?) or someone who either says positive things or nothing at all (and hence doesn't say much). Or again someone who praises absolutely everything even if you know in your heart of hearts it's no good.

    I'd probably opt for a balance of constructive criticism and praise. But then everyone's different.
  8. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    With one of my music teachers OK is the most praise you'll ever get but my other one always says I'm good I just don't believe him most of the time :p