Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Just a quick note on etiquette

Went to Dave's fabulous faculty recital on Monday night. I think it was his best yet! Beautiful tone, extremely musical playing, and technically spot-on. Congrats, honey!

I was appalled at the behaviour of some of the students in the audience though. There were quite a few non-music students in the audience, so maybe they'd never been to a "proper" concert before, but I find that hard to believe. A couple of girls in front of me (I was in the front row of the upper section) were talking at full voice. Giggling with each other. One girl had a binder and she ripped the velcro open. All while Dave was playing. They were down-right rude. Before the last piece, I stood up, walked up to them, crouched down and basically told them to shut up. I don't normally hesitate in shushing loud audience members, and I was planning on being polite and short in my request. I was so mad though, that by the time I got to them, I really let them have it. (This is me though, I'm never rude to people who are rude!) So let me repeat what I told them, and if you find yourself at a concert or recital, this is what you need to know: We can hear you. You can't talk AT ALL during a concert. Save it for between pieces or at intermission or after the show. (Added note, I didn't say this, but I thought it: This is not a DVD you've popped in at home. This is a live human being who is playing his heart out FOR YOU. Well, not for need to just stay home next time.) Back to what I told them: It is not only distracting for the other audience members around you, but for the performer on stage as well. You are being far too loud, and you need to stop it. And (to binder girl), we could hear your velcro. Very loudly. So just stop. Thank you.


Kerry Rasmussen said...

Yay you Jill. I think you well know from reading my blogs that nothing bothers me more during a live performance than people sitting and talking through it like the person on stage doesn't matter.

Regardless of the type of entertainment, people need to learn how to shutty their traps and appreciate the art of the person who is there to perform for them. If you don't like it, leave.

Better yet, practice a little something called patience and you just might learn to appreciate some of the finer things in life.

C.J. said...

Hm... Too bad you didn't just slap them over the head. I think that'd get the message through quicker.

Jerry Pritchard said...


You were Way too kind. I expect this of college students in Southern California, but when I was teaching at University of Northern Iowa we never had this problem with Iowa kids from small towns who had never heard many live formal concerts.

My "unfavorite" experience lately is going to music department recital and concerts and having the students from the Intro to Music (De-ppreciation) course using their cell phones to take notes and text messaging. The bright lights are very distracting.

Jerry Pritchard, Professor of Music (emeritus)
California State University, San Bernardino