Tip #226 – Starting a Critique Journal

While this tip isn’t a compositional tip exactly, it can help with your compositional skills.

With all the compositional skills you acquire and use, be sure to reflect on it. Evaluate it. Did what you do help the composition, or did it hurt it? Does a skill apply better to a different kind of musical work or genre more than another? Did it work well, but maybe another variable made the outcome not-so-good? If you did something new and creative, how will be able to do it again?

By starting a “Critique Journal” you can look back at all the compositional skills that you have gained and see what works well for your next piece. Constant honest evaluation of yourself will refine your skills and help make your workflow for writing better – because now you have solidified in your mind on what works and what doesn’t thought the journal.

Try it out. Get a journal made of recycled paper or make one on your laptop/phone. With every piece you start to write, jot down a few notes of what could be better or what is already amazing.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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