When you google “concert etiquette” you get tips on how to behave as a member of the audience. This article is not about that. It’s about how performers should behave so that the audience will appreciate the performance.
I asked my piano students how they felt when the performing student didn’t bow or look at them when he/she got on stage and off/stage. They weren’t quite sure.
I showed them how to get on stage, how to bow, and how to end a performance by standing up and bowing. I told them they could lean their left hand on the grand piano to steady themselves. But the important thing was to spend a little bit of time looking at the audience and show modesty and bow for acknowledgement — that you appreciate your audience being there.
I asked the next student to bow before she played and bow afterwards.
The students in the audience said that they felt recognized and appreciated as the audience. It also seemed like a real concert.
How difficult is it to show some basic etiquette before and after you give a performance?
One student remarked that rock musicians don’t do that always.
The thing is, I said, the performer is not the most important person in the room. The audience is.
Without the audience, it’s not a performance.
I next talked about mistakes. If you make a mistake, don’t show it. Don’t grimace. Continue.
I learned that lesson long ago —- poker face. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Your audience isn’t there to judge you and count the mistakes you’ve made.
Next: how to overcome stage fright.