Concert Etiquette — For Parents

One of the key things students learn in school music ensembles is how to have respect for the arts, and respect for each other in concert settings. These are invaluable lessons, but they can often be undermined when parents set such bad examples in the concert setting. For the sake of your child and the arts, pay attention parents.

First of all, if your child is performing in the first group of the night, that does not mean that you should leave as soon as that group is done. As a student, when you are walking on stage, getting ready to play your heart out and showcase what you have been working on for the past three months, it hurts when half of your audience gets up and leaves. It is important to support the other music groups at your school — you are already at the concert, so stay situated for at least another half hour. Quick sidenote: actually put some effort into attending your child’s performances. They may say that is alright if you skip out on a concert, but it is always so delightful to see the people you love cheering you on; this is such an easy way to support your child. They may not be Yo-Yo Ma, but they still work hard and appreciate you caring about that.

Remember to also turn off your phone and tuck it away during performances, and to clap at the appropriate time. Your enthusiasm is greatly appreciated at the end of a piece, but not in between movements — that is merely time to separate the different parts of the piece and to allow the musicians to get prepared to move on. And more than anything else, do NOT stand up and take pictures of your child DURING the actual concert. That can wait for the end of the show. Simply sit back, relax, and appreciate the beauty of the music and learning taking place in front of you.