4 distractions that spoil your concert experience

Dear #classicalmusic fan,

Another way we can renovate the classical music world is by helping others enhance their live music experience.

Encourage someone else to participate and engage with the music.

How? By listening and watching.

Like listening vs. hearing, there are differences between watching and looking.

Kittens master the art of watching vs. looking pretty early on.

When you look at something, you see it.

It may not register in your mind what it is or what it is doing, but you see it. Your instincts generally let you know whether you should run or engage. However, watching something, like listening, goes deeper.

Watching starts with seeing and looking and then incorporates observation and eventually meaning. Watch one player sharing their music. Look at their facial expressions (or lack thereof), look at their movements. Look at their fingers, hands, arms moving. You’ll have a great time! But that’s just looking. And you’ll probably start thinking about a meeting you had earlier in the day, or the aftertaste of the soup you had at dinner.

Looking is not helpful for engaging in the music.

Instead, as you look at that one player for a few moments, consider the whys and hows:

  • Why are they pulling that face?
  • Why do they sway like that?
  • Is it for show, or are they adding some sort of weight to the sound?
  • Or are they simply dancing because they’re enjoying themselves?!
  • How does moving their fingers in that way influence the music?

All this stuff is watching, and becomes part of your live music experience. You could close your eyes and dream of far off lands and journeys if you wish, but sometimes it’s nice to come back and watch how folk are sharing music with you.

Things to avoid looking at, and definitely not watch, include but are not limited to Noosance behavior:

  • people (performers and audiences) picking their nose,
  • yawning,
  • head-bopping (falling asleep but trying to keep their head up. You see it most often on trains and buses),
  • the conductor’s flapping tails or bouncing hair,

and so on.

These are distractions and do not support the communication of emotions. In fact, they take you away from the music and utterly spoil your concert experience.

But we live in a Society that reacts.

Images are given to us, and auditory experiences take too much effort. Therefore, we tend look at what’s moving the most rather than listen to the actual music.

Be different and listen more than you look.


Listening and watching are just part of what you can do to make the most of live classical music concerts.

There are basically five steps you can take to make sure you thoroughly enjoy the live music experience.

And I help you find and develop all five action steps in my training “How to Make the Most of Classical Music Concerts.”

Get your copy here: