Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little bit of piss and vinegar to top off this week...

In honor of Ben and Madeleine's fantastic piano recital today, I thought it might be beneficial to post some etiquette rules. Not that any of the people who need to know these would be reading my blog, but just in case...here they are. And since you'll most likely wonder....yes, I'm a bit frustrated. Enough so that I think next year, we might just host our own recital for our kids in lieu of the school recital.

1. A music recital is a time for properness...so if you are performing, don't wear jeans, a tank top and tennis shoes. It just looks cavalier and is so disprespectful to yourself and your audience, as well as your teacher. Of 12 kids performing, 4 dressed nice. Two of them were mine.

2. When you introduce yourself and your music, please say your first and LAST name. Also, please look at the audience and not at the ceiling, floor or turn sideways to introduce yourself. Oh, and speak up and don't slouch. The youngest kid performing was a victim of the broken microphone and he just spoke louder and made eye contact, with his sister following and doing the same. Oh yeah, they were CYT kids and happened to be MINE!!!

3. When you are not performing, don't whisper during other's performances. Especially don't continue to do it when the mother of the performing child gives you the evil eye. And don't expect respect and attention when it's your turn to play, because that mother may just be at the end of her polite rope and decide to crinkle her program a whole bunch and smack her gum loudly while you're playing. Just sayin'.

4. If you have a camera, please refrain from dropping it. It makes a loud noise and startles the pianists. If you're not using it, you could use the bag it came in; a purse; set it on the floor or even the chair next to you. And don't stuff it and the music your kid is done with into a plastic bag, especially while other kids are playing. And then please don't let your sniffling 4 year old play with that crinkly, loud, plastic bag. Thanks.

5. If you are a pianist, and you must tape or staple your music together to lay across the piano...please don't staple them together face to face like a book and still expect them to lay flat on the piano. Also, don't fold them in half or vertically and still expect them to lay flat on the piano. Oh, and please, when finished with said music, please don't throw it on the floor under your feet...it just looks sloppy.

6. We know that recitals can be boring...but really, is 45 minutes too long to sit quietly without playing a video game that makes noise?

7. If you are the lone guitar player in a group of piano players, please have your electric guitar unzipped and plugged into your amp when you come up. Ten minutes is too long for the audience to watch you set up and tune up and amp up, only to have you play 3 chords and a few notes that sound like something akin to a dying cat and a Motley Crue CD combined, and then stop and say you don't know your piece and you really wish you brought your music. Oh, and you're not a rock star yet, so don't dress like one!

8. If you say you're going to be there and you're in the program, perhaps you should show up. Or at least call your teacher.

9. If you are a parent and you want to video tape or take pictures, please do so from the side or back of the room, or from your seat. Please don't grapple with the battery and argue with your wife from the FRONT of the room next to your child while that child is playing. If you need a closer view, that is what ZOOM is for on the camera!

10. Lastly, maybe your child should actually practice prior to a recital. Because when your kid gets up there and doesn't do so well, but my kid gets up there and does fantastic....and when you come up to me and say she must be gifted to be able to play like that so young...I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm going to say yes she's been blessed with a gift, but please don't discount the 30-60 minutes a day she practices and the HOURS she put into her recital pieces. I'm going to say that maybe we should all work hard for something we love and not expect things to be handed to us. I'm going to point out my other child who, while not as advanced and gifted in the same way as his sister, still did great because he PRACTICED!!!

I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

lori.dubczak said...

As a piano teacher with mulitple decades of teaching behind me, I agree 100% with your comments regarding the audience behavior, and especially the parents' behavior. The students behavior/dress/preparation, however, would have been addressed prior to the recital by me - with both the students and the parents. Especially introducing one's self, identifying the composer and piece, and - my personal pet peeve - acknowledging the audience's applause with a small bow. But I understand your frustration completely!!! I've shared it many times....