What do you do when you don't get enough feedback?
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    I wrote a blog post today about not getting enough feedback from my DM, my Priest, the parish in general, and even my schola. Sometimes it can be a bit discouraging and I can struggle to keep my spirits up.

    We've talked some on these forums about dealing with criticisms, but how do you deal with NO feedback?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,703
    For what's its worth, when no one complains, it usually means they like what they hear. Those that do complain are usually complaining that we don't have enough guitar music or too much organ music. I just smile and thank them for their input.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,188
    So, then the question arises, are you happy with what you are doing? Not to be disrespectful, but as a general rule, are you satisfied with the progress being made? If so, then thank God for your blessing and enjoy. Yes, I know, we all want external feedback, but I have come to the sincere opinion that most Catholics are lacking a sense of "beauty" and are clueless. Many are too busy to comment (or so they perceive themselves to be) and many do not know how to comment. So all is left alone and you are left hanging. T'is a hard life we live and yet we try. So. as much as you would wish, be happy with your progress, thank God for the blessings you have, confess your struggles and and your joys to your friends and find something to do occasionally that has nothing to do with church music.

    Gee, I just think I preached my own homily.
  • henry
    Posts: 242
    I oftentimes feel like Carl, too. I get very few comments, good or bad and I've been here 15 years. Just got a new pastor, and he doesn't say anything, either. I often feel guilty for not using guitar or piano or popular music. I keep asking myself if it's just my personal preference, or am I doing what the Church wants? I hope it's the latter. Let's pray for each other.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,703
    Yes. Pray. Cecilia Novena is around the corner.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    I don't get compliments every single Sunday but enough to make the choir feel good. Last Sunday we had three habitted (Is this a word) Nuns who have just moved here to form a convent, and they told us after Mass they thought they were in Heaven b/c music was so beautiful. No chant, but lots of Latin

    Donna
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Thanks for the comments and support! In general, I'm quite optimistic about what we're doing and I believe it's making an important contribution. The support of this MusicaSacra community is important to keep me going.

    When our new Priest arrived this spring, I talked to a number of people who were wondering what it meant that he didn't make many comments about the whole music program. But he appears to be warming up, and even gave us a compliment last week.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,038
    I had a similar situation in a former parish where I asked myself: "If my choir disappeared next week, would the pastor even care? or notice?"

    Yes, it takes time for the pastor or and others to "warm up" - naturally enough when you think about it. For me, the key was taking the initiative to warm up to the pastor myself on a personal (i.e. non-musical) level - greeting him before mass, chatting about the weather, etc. Once he got to know me as a person and not just as someone who fulfilled a function in the parish, he was more forthcoming with his interest and positive comments. Even his criticisms were more good natured than before.

    I'm not saying this will work with everyone, just a thought.

    Sam Schmitt
  • One schola member thanks me for directing every time we sing--it gives me a little lift every time.

    In the do unto others department.... it's also good to remember to give feedback to others when they do something you like. Not necessarily musical things.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    And remember, when you visiting another church and you hear music you like, take a few minutes to hunt down the director/organist and say so.