Concert Etiquette for Audience Members

How to Be Respectful During a Piano Recital

Concert etiquette for audiences.
Image © Brandy Kraemer

As an audience member at a piano recital, you should be aware of the following rules to ensure a great experience for yourself and others:

  • Do hold your applause during long musical pauses, as well as in between the movements of a piano concerto.
    If you’re uncertain, wait for the rest of the audience to begin clapping.
  • Do mind the dress code, if applicable.
    If you don’t know whether there is a concert dress code, check with the pianist you’re there to see; contact the event coordinator or venue, or ask a music instructor.
  • Do be on time; if you must be late be sure to close doors quietly! If you enter in the middle of a performance, chances are the pianist will not notice … unless that huge, heavy door slams shut behind you!
  • Do keep chairs quiet if you must leave early.
    This is especially important if the venue has solid, auto-closing chairs – the seats snap shut against the chair back as soon as you stand, causing an instant, echoing distraction.
  • Don’t miss the intermission signals.
    If you step outside the venue during intermission, be extra careful to look inside for flashing lights – a sign to return to your seat – or a stagehand rounding up the audience.

      … and of course! …
  • Do make sure cell phones, pagers, and all media devices are switched to vibrate only, or are turned off!
    No matter what! No excuses! Don’t be that person! (The distracting sound is a given, but the light from your cell phone disturbs the people around you. Be considerate of their musical experience!)
    ►  Etiquette for Pianists:
     ○  Interacting With Your Audience & Affecting Other Musicians

    ►  Recital Etiquette “Golden Rules”:
     ○  Learn 10 more extremely valuable concert etiquette tips from