Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday Sessions: Carrie Newcomer on teaching & learning

Indiana based singer and songwriter and workshop leader Carrie Newcomer reflects on what makes a good teacher.

"A good teacher is a partner who understands and echoes the voice of your internal Editor/Champion," Newcomer says, "and not your internal Critic."

"What I mean by this is your internal Editor/ Champion is always on your side, and it’s excited that you want to make art. It wants you to grow and keep creating. It says, 'Let's study what is working, consider carefully what isn’t working, and then find a way together to make it better.' The internal Critic wants to shut you down and keep you from creating. The internal Critic shames you and slams you, but offers no useful information on how to get better.

"At a certain point I gave myself permission to not complete a workshop experience if the teacher only echoed the internal critic. But I’m very grateful for my experiences with teachers who work with my internal Editor/Champion, for with those teachers I not only learn more, but gain new energy for making art.

you may also want to see

Music Road: Voices: Carrie Newcomer: faith and laughter

Music Road: Wilderness Plots: the dvd

2010 Songwriter's Market: Where & How to Market Your Songs forthcoming in October. Newcomer was one of several artists I spoke with for an article about how to get the most out of songwriting workshops.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

I like Newcomer's way of seeing this: I lived in France for 25 years where everyone seems to echo your "internal critic" and many of the successful musicians were actually from elsewhere, ie. immigrants from other European countries. Positive reinforcement works so much better, especially when art is concerned!

1:56 PM  
Blogger The BIKE Lady said...


Thanks for visiting my blog today and for showing me the way to your friend Shannon's. What an inspiring moment! And your post today gives me an idea I'd not yet thought of--a song writing workshop. What a wonderful way to explore the rhythm and sound of words! I'm going to see if I can find such a workshop where I live. Not that I'll write songs, necessarily, but that I'll continue to grow intellectually.

Always looking for a way to move forward...


11:48 AM  

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