Sunday, February 15, 2015

Musical Monday - Is There Such a Thing as PROPER Behaviour at a Concert?

Image result for free clip art audienceI read the article "Classical concerts are great. Stop apologizing for them.Aaron Gervais, composer" and it made me start to wonder if people really do know how to behave at a concert whether it be orchestral or vocal or pop.

There have always been certain expectations (I hesitate to call them rules) at a concert as mentioned above.  I was treated to an Il Divo concert a few years ago at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.  It is a beautiful venue.  There was a full orchestra accompanying the singers (a great orchestra with a questionable conductor but I digress). The first violinist came in and the orchestra tuned.  The ladies behind me who, by their conversation, were 'groupies' wondered what "that guy" was doing out there.  That kind of comment continued throughout the concert.  The venue itself was the only thing keeping them from screaming and throwing lingerie.

As the group was singing, they continued to make comments about how "cute", "muscular", "sweet" etc. each was until I finally turned around and asked them to wait to talk until no one was singing or playing.  They looked surprised and then complied.  Whew!

So why do grown people not know what is expected at a concert and is it important?

1.  Television - We are used to sitting in front of a box and watching concerts and being able to comment at will.  Some just don't realize that in real life the commenting is interuptive.  I remember taking our toddler to his first movie at a theatre.  I had to explain that he couldn't talk as the other people were trying to listen.  Maybe, the loud ones haven't had that opportunity.

2.  Opportunity - We bribed our kids with dinner where ever they wished after each orchestra concert just to get them to go.  They ended up really enjoying the experiences and bribing didn't have to continue.  Even kids at school seldom get the chance to be an audience.  If they do, sometimes they aren't given guidance as to how to behave so as to allow others to enjoy it too.  I had the opportunity to go to a rock concert in a huge arena and loved it.  There were rules there too.  If the people behind you weren't standing, you didn't stand.  It really was awesome to be a part of that different audience experience.

3.  Basic Courtesy - This old world goes round so much better when we think of others before self.  I have noticed that young people are more apt to hold open the door at a store than middle aged people at the moment.  Some of our older adults can be down right cranky.  Courtesy says you don't speak or interrupt when those around you are trying to listen or enjoy something.

So let's do our best to be as thoughtful to others as we can and hope it catches on.  Take someone to a concert who has never been.  Create opportunities for different groups to come and be an audience then share the reasons for certain behaviours.  Let's see what we can do to help people enjoy music in ways that allow for individuality as well as courtesy.  1, 2, 3, and ---

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