Concert Etiquette

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Courtesy of the National Association for Music Education.


People whispering. Cell phones ringing. Talking. Turning around in seats. Leaving before the entire performance is finished. Does this sound like your typical audience at a concert or festival? You are not alone. In recent years, a large number of complaints from music educators concerns the topic of audience behavior and how best to address the issue of concert etiquette. The topic addressed here will mainly be the behavior of public audiences, as opposed to student audiences. We have included a helpful guide, however, "10 Rules for Students," which could be used as a handout for students prior to attending performances at school or off-campus.

The behavior of public audiences is a difficult issue to address. School administrators and teachers can exercise direct control over the student body. However, when dealing with the general public you may have the same high expectations for their concert behavior, but far less control over their actions. Here are some ideas to attempt to address this problem and offer some solutions to provide awareness to our audiences. If we can make an impact, the real winners will be our students who will enjoy their performance experience much more with an attentive, well-behaved audience.

To start, we offer this fun, informative quiz, designed to enlighten, entertain, and educate your audience. You might want to hand this to your audience as they arrive for the performance. If nothing else, it might provide them with food for thought and will at least keep them occupied as they await the start of the performance!


A Message from "Dr. Tim" Lautzenheiser

"Dr. Tim" Lautzenheiser is a widely known motivational speaker on music and music education. He is a teacher, clinician, author, composer, and conductor. In this short video, he discusses the role of the music educator in teaching concert etiquette. 



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