As our studio recital gets closer, you will probably notice the topic of concert etiquette coming up more and more. This topic is important to us, because we want our students to not only learn how to be great performers, but be a great supportive audience as well. Simply put, etiquette has to do with proper behaviors and manners for a specific situation. In this case, concert etiquette deals with the proper and expected behavior at a classical concert or recital.
Concert etiquette has changed and evolved over the last few hundred years, but these days, with the overwhelming presence of technology in everyone’s lives, it’s very easy to become distracted or be the distraction at a classical performance.
Thus, one of the things you’ll hear most often before a concert starts is a request for all cell phones to be turned off, as well as anything that beeps or makes noise. Unfortunately, it is not enough simply to put your phone on silent or vibrate, because things like alarms will not be automatically turned off. Imagine listening to a beautiful slow movement of a piece, and all of a sudden an alarm starts beeping. But because the owner of the cell phone thought that his or her phone was on silent, it couldn’t possibly be theirs and it just kept on beeping until it shut off by itself. Not only has that person’s inconsideration distracted other audience members from enjoying the music, but it has also interrupted the performer’s concentration.
Let’s put it into the context of a student recital.
As parents, you know best how much time and effort your child has put into learning, practicing, memorizing and perfecting a piece for performance. How would you feel if during your child’s performance, a cell phone started ringing and caused him or her to lose concentration and make mistakes? It would be upsetting for you and your child as well.
At the bottom of it, we just want to remind everyone that playing the piano and performing music is a complicated skill that requires a lot of work and intense concentration. The physical coordination and mental focus and emotional involvement is quite incredible. To show support and respect for each student and acknowledge the work they have put into their performance, we want to create the best environment for them to perform in.
So please come, and turn off your phones, iPads, tablets and cameras. Be present, enjoy the performances and cheer loudly for each student.