Many years ago I had to take a vocal performance class when I was studying at the University of California in Irvine. It required getting up in front of everyone, singing, and then listening to the instructor’s critique. Students were also allowed to write their observations and give them to you as well. And yes, it was as horrifying as it sounds!
Constructive criticism is nurturing and helps you to grow. It shouldn’t tear you down and leave you unable to move on. I suppose it depends on your personal strength. There were days when I was not strong enough to take in what I needed to hear. But, slowly I grew a tougher skin. I accepted that singing pretty was not enough to truly capture the heart and soul of a song. I stood up and I sang my heart out and then I listened. Not just for the applause that came after the performance but for the “this is what you did well”, “this is what you need to work on”, and “this is what will help you get better”.
One critique still readily comes to mind when I practice. I was told that my notes were too choppy in one section. She suggested that I close my eyes and picture each note connected to the next like an elegant strand of pearls being slowly and gracefully pulled from my mouth revealing each pearl as part of a seamless string offered up to each listener.
I love pearls. Literally and figuratively.
I have a devotional time each morning before I go out to run. Wisdom from God, pearls, I call them, gleaned from the Word, that fill my heart and sometimes transform into song while I meditate on them as I put in the miles for the day.
I have fallen a few times when I’ve gone out to run. It’s taken a while to get back out there consistently. This past week I actually put in 9 miles of running and 2 miles of walking. I am committed to not letting the pain the of past keep me from moving forward. Another pearl in the set that He has hand designed for me.
My desire is to share the pearls I’ve discovered in the form of God inspired music. I’ve been on an extended journey through Psalms and am gathering up gems for my next project.
I’ve put off writing here on the blog for a few months because I felt the need to be still and be quiet in God’s presence before I could share again. Now as I am back in the recording studio I feel compelled to talk about the pearls. And to run. I hope you’ll join me and find your own strand of pearls to give as a gift from Him to the world. Let’s run this race together. Gathering pearls and sharing them along the journey!
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Blessings to you!