Today’s music lesson involves concert etiquette. I have just attended my daughter’s Spring Choral Concert and I was appalled by the behavior of…..
I arrived about 10 minutes early. I silenced my cell phone. I read through the program. I scouted out my daughter. A group of high school students sat in front of me. They pulled out their cell phones and started sharing text messages and pictures with each other.
I anticipated a problem once the performance began so I found another seat.
I sat behind an audience member who is a principal at another school. His daughter was performing that evening. But not in the first group. So he proceeded to have a conversation with his guest the entire 4 songs. All four.
I moved again.
My last seat was in the back. Just as my daughter’s group started their first song a mother and daughter stood behind me. (I was seated in the last row) They proceeded to discuss who was wearing what, who was sitting with whom, in not so very hushed tones. During the song. All during the song. I kept turning around, trying to get their attention so that I could ask them to take their conversation outside.
My neck is sore this morning.
The following quiz is suggested by The National Association for Music Education to hand out to concert goers as a polite reminder. I’ve adjusted the quiz so that all of the correct answers are all the same letter. See if you can guess know the correct answers. My extraneous additions (things that I actually witnessed last night) are in italics.
1. You should enter the auditorium: a) quietly b) as loudly as possible c) walking backwards shakin’ your groove thang!
2. It is always a good idea to arrive: a) a little bit early b) just as the performance is beginning c) only in time to catch your child’s performance and then dash out as soon as they finish
3. If you must arrive late, it is best to enter: a) between musical selections b) whenever you arrive c) during your child’s performance, making sure they see you by waving as you walk in
4. During the concert, it is a good idea to: a) sit quietly and listen – what a novel idea! b) discuss the performance c) eat dinner
5. For mobile phone usage during a performance it is best to: a) turn the phone off, or better yet, leave it in the car b) answer your phone quickly and speak quietly c) leave the room to use the phone (hello, most important doctor, dressed in scrubs, talkin’ to your colleague!)
6. Applause should be given when: a) the performance is completed and the conductor faces the audience b) your child has completed his or her part c) any time something is done well like at a Bon Jovi concert.
7. After the performance is over: a) sit and wait until all the children have cleared the stage b) you should leave your seat and rush up to the stage to find your child c) exclaim loudly how tired you are and bored. I actually witnessed this. From a dad. Pathetic.
8. On the way home it’s a good idea to: a) offer your praise b) critique the performance c) offer your sympathy
How’d you score? I honestly thought all of correct answers to these questions were common sense. Or at least something everyone learns in grammar school.
Apparently, I’m wrong.