How to Evaluate Another Person’s Song

1.  Remember that encouraging the writer to continue writing is the premier function of this group.

2.  While the song is playing quickly mark the lyrics where ever you were confused, or heard something you liked.

a.  Be on guard to identify if you “tune out” and mark that (was it cliché lyric or monotone melody?)

b.  If you smiled, or cried…mark exactly when.

c.  When the song is over go back and write out an explanation.  (examples:  lost me, confused? who?  past or

present? good line, good melody, good rhythmic component, nice rise, cool chord.)

d.  Identify what created mood and flow.

e.  Deliberately identify characteristics of the song that were good, so the writer has a balanced perspective of the

critique, and so he doesn’t change what worked well.

3.  Offer the one most valuable observation you made.

4.  Allow others time to contribute.

5.  If no other information is being shared, you may then contribute additional observations.

6.  Be aware of available time.

7.  Always encourage the writer.  They have done something most people can’t do!

Article written by Fiona McAllister

Post by Misty Simpson

1 Comment

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  1. Here is an emailed comment by Tim Jones, coordinator of the Rock Hill NSAI chapter:

    “This is all good information. I especially like the part about encouraging
    the writer. So many times critiques center on what a writer has done wrong
    or needs improvement on. Sometimes I think critique sessions leave a writer
    feeling that everything he/she does is wrong, because everything or almost
    everything said was critical. It is just as important, if not even more
    important, to let writers know what they have done well. Especially on the
    local level, we should be there to encourage each other to write, and a few
    sincere “attaboys” can go a long way in boosting confidence and morale.”

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