What do you ask your listeners after performance?
If you ask "did you like it", you might not get the answer you seek. If you seek an honest reply, a person might be too polite or too afraid to tell you the truth. If your goal for asking was to find out if you pleased your listener, the negative result might disappoint you.
A more reasonable approach would be to think why you have performed in the first place? If your goal was to entertain your audience, then by all means, the above question would work here.
If, on the other hand, your aim was to educate, elevate, inspire, create change in people who want to be changed, and lead, then something different needs to be asked.
"If music could be expressed by colors, what color or combination of colors would you associate this piece with?"
"Have you been able to count all the appearances of the theme in this fugue?"
"Which stop families (principals, flutes, strings, or reeds) do you think I used in this composition?"
"What was the most uncomfortable moment in today's performance that you will remember?"
There's no need to reassure yourself about the status quo, that everything is still OK. But there's a need to create art - uncomfortable, scary, and life-changing encounters which oneself.
[Thanks to John for inspiration]
Part II: Largo from the Trio Sonata No. 2 in C minor, BWV 526 by J.S. Bach
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