A few recent blog posts regarding on and off-stage etiquette caught my eye:
- Holly Mulcahy’s blog Neo Classical
- Grant Charles Chaput’s blog Killing Classical Music (great name, eh?)
When I was in music school (about the time the Gutenberg Bible was printed), concert behavior was never addressed. It was just assumed that if you played, people would come, and that was the end of that. No one ever thought their audience might like to hear the performer address them or at least acknowledge their presence. Today’s students are much more aware of the needs of their audience and are taught (gasp!) to even turn to face them with a smile at the end of a concert.
These articles provide an interesting contrast between the perceptions of performers versus their audience. Are standard applause conventions just an erudite roadblock against those without a clue about when to clap? Is musician behavior off-putting in a concert setting? Good questions.
Check out the Karen Hagberg book on stage presence at Kulas. Or log into NEC’s Bridge online jobs database (you’ll need to obtain the password from a friendly librarian) and go to Resource Library, then to Handouts and click on the Entrepreneurial Musician Handout for a great how-to on audience development.