Everyone’s a critic. It’s never been more true. As I watch the presidential election cycle unfold in the news, criticism is everywhere. And it’s brutal. Often exaggerated and sometimes untrue even in the face of facts to the contrary, we live in a time when all voices are heard, and that’s a good thing, but it makes the art of using criticism as a tool a much more complicated process. As a musician, criticism has always been a part of my life. As a student, it was essential.