Recital season is upon us!  In the whirlwind of other activities, we hardly stop to smell the proverbial roses (or in this case, listen to the music).  However simple the music may be, we still owe it to ourselves and the performers to take in and appreciate not only the music itself, but the work that the performer dedicated to his/her craft.  Here are some ways to enhance your audience experience and get the most out of attending a performance, and sign up for lessons at our Bethesda music studio!.


Be an Active Listener!

As an audience member, there are lots of things you can do (both for yourself and for your kids!) before, during, and after the concert to appreciate what you are experiencing.


Before the Concert:

  • Listen to a few performances of the piece(s) – music, like visual art, is subjective and up for interpretation!
  • Read about the composition, composer, performers, and critical responses to the work.
  • Learn about the genre, style, and form of the music that you’ll be listening to
  • Learn about the historical implications linking the music to important events of its time
  • Read the program notes, ahead of time, if possible, to better understand how the performers will be interpreting the music


During the Concert:

  • Choose seats that will simultaneously give you the best audio and visual experience
  • Track the changes in moods and emotions
  • Track how the elements of music change throughout the piece, including:


    • Melody
    • Rhythm and Tempo
    • Harmony
    • Tone and texture
  • Watch for which instruments are playing and the effect their presence has on the piece
  • Watch how the conductor (if there is one) guides and communicates with the musicians
  • Appreciate the technical challenges of the piece – what did the musicians have to do to prepare for particularly difficult passages?


After the Concert:

  • Discuss the performance with your friends and family:
    • What was your favorite part?
    • What part truly moved you?
    • Did the interpretation of the piece live up to your expectations?
  • Find another concert to attend!  Rinse, and repeat!Performance EtiquetteIt is behavior that demonstrates respect for the conductor, performers, other audience members, and the music itself. What should I do as an audience member?
  • What is good concert etiquette?
    • Silence your technology.  Turn off (or put in airplane mode) any electronic devices that makes noise, including phones, tablets, and watches).  The sounds and bright lights shining from your devices detract from the performance and it goes without saying, your ringtone is not a composed part of the piece!
    • Sit quietly during performances.  Talking, excessive moving, and other noises are distracting to performers and other audience members.
  • If you arrive late, or need to leave early, wait until the end of a performance or between songs.
  • Be discreet with your photography! Of course, a #proudparent like you wants pictures to cherish these shining moments in your child’s life. However, camera flash can temporarily blind performers and affect their performance for the worse. Additionally, tripods obstruct audience views when placed indiscreetly. Protip: turn of your flash and set your tripod up in the back of the room!


  • Monitor your younger audience members.  Parents should keep their younger children with them, sitting quietly and respectfully.  If very young children become restless, please take them from the performance area until they are quiet and ready to return.


Your child and their music teachers have worked hard for this performance. Embrace and encourage their bravery for getting out there and performing — your support alone will mean the world to them. After recital season, we’ll already be getting close to summer music camps. Talk with your music teacher to learn more, we look forward to seeing you at our music studio!


Interested in performing with us at some of the amazing venues such as Carnegie Hall?

Email us at or call 301-365-5888