Facts About Classical Music from List 25

Sharing what we learn helps everyone gain knowledge or in otherwords, grow. List 25 will put out posts and videos of theories, facts, and other content. There list of “25 Bizarre Facts About Classical Music” had many facts that I already knew, but some were entirely new. How many do you know? Leave your thoughts in the comments and if you liked their content, be sure to give their post and this post a like. https://list25.com/25-bizarre-facts-about-classical-music/

Concert Etiquette: The Performer

A previous post written addressed how the audience should behave during a concert. This one will dive into how the performer or musician should behave when they show respect for the audience.

1. Arrive On Time!

There is a saying that was ingrained into me by music teachers, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.” As a musician, you want to arrive early enough so that you’re dressed, warmed up, set up, and ready to go with at least ten minutes to spare. That way you can take a moment to breathe and start the performance on time. We don’t want to keep the audience waiting.

2. Dress Appropriately

Unless you perform in a rock band, you almost never would dress in something like jeans and a t-shirt. You want to dress professionally. If you are a solo performer, you are the limelight and have more flexibility for a dress code. This could be a colored dress or suit, or exposing your arms and legs. Just make sure that your skirt is not so short that the people in the front row can not see up it. If you’re in an ensemble, particularly a classical ensemble, everyone usually wears black. You also want to make sure that your legs are fully covered, as well as your shoulders. This creates uniformity within the group.

3. Address the Audience

When people applaud, they are essentially thanking your for performing for them or acknowledging how much they enjoyed your performance. So, you should acknowledge back. Some people wave to their audience, some people open their arms to address the audiences importance. But the one gesture that works for any group, and pretty much the only accepted move for classical performers is the bow. We’re not talking about the head bob or the awkward bow where you’re still keeping eye contact with the audience. We are talking about the bow where you take a second to bend almost perpendicular to stare at the floor, then come back up. This not only addresses the audience, but tends to put everyone at ease. One side note, is if the audience is not clapping, don’t bother bowing, it just makes things uncomfortable.

4. Acknowledge the Accompanist

If there is someone performing with you, whether it’s another ensemble member or someone backing you up on your solo performance. This could be a simple hand gesture towards them and then bowing together. They likely worked just as hard as you did, so give them some recognition.

5. Enjoy the Show

I still get nervous when I perform, but if you are dreading your performance, the audience will feel that, which in turn makes you more nervous and starts causing unnecessary mistakes. You likely worked hard on your music, so go out there and have fun making music. Before your last piece, be sure to thank the audience for their time and then end with a big finale.

To summarize a performers etiquettecy, they should be professional, be timely, acknowledge everyone there, and have fun. If you liked these tips, feel free to give a like and leave your comments below.

How to Have An Entertaining Performance: Beyond the Music

Have you ever noticed the difference between a compelling performance and an inhibited one? Putting on a performance can be exciting and very intimidating, but these three subtle things should help make a captivating performance:

1. Presentation

How you present yourself is more than how you dress, it is how you walk, talk, stand, bow, even hold your instrument. There is another word for this, confidence. Your presence begins from the moment you walk on stage; if you shuffle on stage with your head down, maybe arms crossed, and no eye contact with the audience, you show that your either not confident in your playing ability or what you are wearing or you don’t want to be here performing for the people that came to watch you. When you walk on stage with a strong stride, your head held up, feet planted on the ground you show that your confident and excited for your performance, and when you glance at the audience, that makes them feel included in the excitement. Keep your feet planted while performing, but allow your body to move with the music. It looks unnatural when you’re stiff as a statue, and putting all your weight on one foot could imply unsteadiness. Finally, make a nice bow with your face and torso parallel to the floor, then exit the same way you came in. The thing to remember is that “the whole performance is an act, and when you act confident, the audience feels confident in your ability.”

2. Engagement

Engaging in the music, ensemble members, and the audience makes a performance that much more entertaining. It can be as simple as eye contact. Now, some people get extremely nervous when they see the faces of audience members, but if you come out on stage and just look in the audiences direction (let’s say the back wall), it makes them feel included in this event. Also, taking a little time before the last piece to tell the audience how much you appreciate them being there gives them a positive experience for taking the time to see you perform. Also, when you move your body to the music you’re playing, you show that you are engaged with the music you are playing. Finally, when you engage with your accompanist or other ensemble members through eye contact, it not only shows that you’re engaged with the music, but making sure your on the same page and acknowledging their participation in the performance.

3. Have fun!

It is perfectly normal to be at least a little nervous for a performance. Just make sure that you are having fun. Some of my best performances were when I got so into the music and playing with my friends and colleagues, that it almost seemed like the audience was not even there. I’m not saying that you should ignore the audience, but when you are having fun, it eliminates some of your anxiety and manifests a happy, engaging, and entertaining performance that captivates everyone in the room. You worked hard, so have fun with it!

So just remember to present yourself confidently the whole time you are on stage, engage with the music and everyone in the hall, and have fun with the music you worked so hard on. This will spawn an entertaining performance.

This is what I have observed, feel free to leave your comments below.