What is a good audience member?
We are Part of the Concert
The audience members, as well as the musicians, are participants in every concert. When you participate in listening to the music, you will be taking an important part by sharing this experience with others in the audience and with the musicians on stage. Formal concerts are much different from rock concerts or sporting events, and require you to know some specific concert manners. In order to make a concert enjoyable for everyone, here are some tips to remember:
Entering the concert hall:
- Enter the concert hall quietly.
- Once you have been seated, be alert to activity on the stage as the musicians take their place for the concert.
- Turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones.
- It is impolite to wear hats or caps during a concert.
- No food or drink is allowed inside McIntyre Hall.
Beginning the concert:
- When the conductor enters, it is customary to applaud politely.
- Whistling, yelling, or screaming is not appropriate at any time before, during, or after a concert.
During the concert:
- It is impolite to talk, or even whisper, while the music is being performed.
- Remain still, and be thoughtful of others by talking or making sounds only between pieces. Listeners and performers can be distracted by sounds from programs, candy wrappers, jewelry and other objects.
- Never stand or move around while music is being performed. It distracts listeners around you, as well as the performers.
- If you must leave for any reason, wait until a piece is finished, and the audience is applauding. Also, return to your seat only between pieces.
- Always say "excuse me" if you must pass in front of someone while going to or from your seat.
- If you must cough or sneeze while the music is being performed, always try to muffle the sound with a tissue or handkerchief. Wait until the piece is finished if possible.
- Watch the conductor when the music stops to decide whether or not to applaud. Some musical works have several parts or movements and the audience is expected to applaud only after all movements have been performed. Watch for the conductor to "lower both hands to his sides" or some other sign the piece is finished.
If you always remember these simple rules, and use your own good manners, you can feel confident attending a concert anywhere. These guidelines are from the National Association for Music Education, and are shared with students everywhere.