Having recently attended a few concerts, recitals, and end of the year programs at schools I have been thinking about how things have changed over the years when it comes to society’s standards for behavior. I won’t get into the bigger issue here of society’s standards but I would like to talk briefly about a little thing called, “Concert Etiquette”.
Concert etiquette, or appropriate behavior during a concert, recital, or program, is something that needs used to be commonplace but now seems to need to be taught. As a music educator, it is my responsibility to teach my students how to behave appropriately during a performance program. I also need to encourage parents to practice and model appropriate behavior with their children when at other venues.
Here is an article from the National Association for Music Education that gives a handy 10 Rules for Concert Etiquette for students who will be attending a concert. I think its a great reminder and a needed refresher for kids and adults alike!
Here are a few simple things to remember when attending any performance:
Concert Etiquette Tips:
1. Refrain from talking during the performance.
2. Make sure cell phones are on vibrate or turned off completely.
3. Do not “play” on phone, ipad, ds, or other electronic device.
4. Do not sing, hum, or tap along with the music – the people did not come to hear you
5. No gum, candy, or other food – definitely no candy or tissue wrappers
6. Dress appropriately – know the venue! If its a classical concert or performance at your local theater, wear something business casual to formal. If its a school performance or recital, business casual dress is fine. If its an outdoor concert in the park, jeans or shorts are ok. Avoid watches with alarms or dangly jewelry that makes noise.
7. Know when to applaud – many classical pieces have 3 movements and you should not applaud between movements – follow the model of others if you are unsure.
8. Photographs and Video Recording – again, know the venue! Have they asked for No Photography? If photography is allowed, be aware of others around you – don’t stand up or hold your phone/camera in others line of sit. Don’t get up and walk around in front of others to take pictures. If its important for you to get a shot sit on an aisle seat, stand in the back or on the side – try to remain inconspicous!
9. Wait until the performance is completely over before jumping up and running out the door! Its very important to respect the performers and give them your full attention. Take the time to give them full applause to show your praise!
10. Open your mind to new things – the music or type of performance may not be your “preferred” type but give it a chance, with an open mind – you might be surprised!