Concert Etiquette


Little things that may seem trivial to audience members may interrupt a performer’s intense concentration. The following suggestions will help audience members show respect to the performers on stage as well as other members of the audience. This will help the performers to do their best.

When To Applaud – Performers always appreciate applause, but there are appropriate moments to applaud. In a multi-movement work, applaud only after all movements are completed. This allows the continuity of the piece to flow from one movement to the next. “Hooting and hollering” is not appropriate in the concert setting.

Arrival Time – Leave early and allow enough time for parking and traffic. If you do arrive late, wait by the doors until the first piece (not just a movement) is finished; then discreetly take the nearest seat available.

Entering and Exiting the Auditorium – Never enter or exit the auditorium during a performance. If you must enter or exit, please wait until the performance on stage has been completed. The most appropriate times to move about are during audience applause or set changes.

Talking – Talking should not be tolerated. It is not only distracting to the performer, but to every person in the audience. It is just plain rude to talk; even whispering can be heard during a musical performance. If someone around you is talking, ask him or her nicely to please stop.

Other Noises – Avoid rustling your program, tapping your foot, bouncing your legs, etc. Pagers and cell phones should be turned off. Watches set to beep on the hour should also be turned off. These high-pitched beeps are distracting to the performers and audience members. [Special note in theatrical stage productions: Electronic devices that are set to "vibrate" or "silent" still interfere with signals from headsets used by tech crew members. Avoid causing missed cues, and disturbance in lighting effects by turning the devices "off".]

Children – Children need exposure to good music and live performance. If your young child begins to get restless in the middle of a performance, it may be best that you exit the auditorium until calmer times prevail.

By following basic edicts of respect and consideration, performers and the audience will have a more pleasurable and meaningful experience as they perform and attend live concerts. Because they have worked so hard for their performance, the students on stage deserve to be treated with respect.