Sunday, October 18, 2015

Simple Courtesy

I was at my volunteer work yesterday, and it was really busy! A collection of schools were getting together to play for the public as an art piece to show off 'Artwaves' 2015 in its last weeks here in the Logan Art Gallery. 

About 50 people showed up - and this included the performers and audience. Then, there were people who just showed up to look at the art around the gallery, and then there were teachers and organisers who help set up the drum kits, and other pieces of instruments from the Logan Entertainment Centre... yep, there was a lot of working going on from 10am until the starting time at 1pm.

However, as the music started, and people were entertained, we noticed one terrible thing was happening: once the musicians finished playing, their parents took them off home. They didn't stay to listen to the rest of the other musicians play. Jillian - the art gallery assistant, and my supervisor - thought this was very rude and inconsiderate of the parents to set such a bad example for their kids. 

When I was young, and playing for Yamaha Music, we did a concert over at Chandler. I was told not to leave, that we had to stay for the whole concert because we all had to be out on the stage to take a bow at the end of the two or three hours we were there; also it was considered bad form to leave in the middle of the concert as there may have been music agents in the audience (they didn't know if there were or not) who might like what we were playing, and to leave would close off an opportunity for us as musicians.

When I told Jillian this, she was surprised I had been a professional musician when I was young, but I wasn't good enough to take on the stresses to be in an orchestra or a band, so yes, I learned to play an instrument, played in front of an audience in a school band, in a symphony, on my own and then I stopped playing and left it alone for many years before I took up singing.

So, please teach your kids the courtesy to stick around at concerts they're involved with - even if they think it's boring and they are on stage right at the beginning - they will most probably be expected to get out there right at the end to take a bow, be in the credits and be part of the limelight of the show... and they'll end up loving the sound the audience makes when the auditorium fills with the sound of applause - of appreciation of their talents - and they will want to do it again long after the curtain has closed.

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