Monday, September 24, 2007


If you are new to this blog or are looking for a bassoon teacher, my contact information is to the right in light green and my professional accomplishments are under 'Accomplishments' (just under the picture of the dog). Thank you!

How to be a Super-Awesome Audience!

In my limited experience as a performer over the years, I've come to notice that audiences are VERY supportive of any kind of musical activity, even if they have no musical back-ground themselves. To those people I would like to give a big-warm thank you! Without people like you, musicians would die off, and disappear from existence.
Though, without being too persnickety or picky, and I don't really know how to put this, but sometimes I feel that the great support that musicians feel, isn't sometimes misdirected?
For instance, take my dad for a example (who has had no musical training), if he goes to a concert he's pretty good about not making too much noise, sure there's the occasional cough and no one blames him for that. However, if he brought his favorite brand of cereal and started rummaging around in there for crumbs, that would probably be found offensive by most musicians.
Maybe we're just a little sensitive, but we really like it when an audience sits quietly, and appreciates what we do.
Seriously now, silence right after a performance finishes, can be SO much more supportive than immediate applause, because it means we've moved you. It means that what we've done has somehow had an impact upon you, which is what we live to do.
Now the question is; when should I wait to clap, and when should I clap right away?
Answer; Well how much did the piece really move you? Was it tragic? Joyous!
light and airy
sweet and mild.
incredibly dissonant?

Each one of these elicits a different response, but as a general rule I'd say wait at least 3 seconds after every piece, except for those of a tragic, romantic or very dramatic sort in which case you might wait a little more.

That's all I really wanted to say about that, so in conclusion, it's all really up to you when you clap, but please know that when you clap, how loud and for how long, sends a really strong message to the performer. We show you our music, and then you show us yours, it's a conversation.

Ok finally, a few quick notes on concert etiquette for you over-achievers out there;

don't clap in between movements,

don't make any kind of sound when the orchestra stops suddenly, freeze

don't bring noisy food items to munch on

don't carry on conversations with your friends after the orchestra has started playing

stay in your own seat, don't go seat hopping, with the exception if you need to do what's necessary, and when you returned someone took your seat

DO NOT throw things like moldy tomatoes, carrots, coined money etc. at the performers! De-thorned roses are good, and please don't aim for our faces. :)

Ok that's it, I'll catch you next time! If you have a question, don't like what you're reading, (or vice-versa) please feel free to leave a comment, and I will try to accommodate. :)

Check out the full version!


Matt Haeck said...

Clapping between movements! ARGH! I think this rule has, sadly, been almost completely lost. I can't remember the last time I was at a concert or recital where folks refrained from clapping between movements!

K. Clark said...

So true! :)