Have you ever performed for a masterclass or a recital where you're anxious and the crowd seems THIS BIG?
Or how about a seminar performance where you're already nervous and then the audience stares at you like THIS?
I believe that us musicians often lose sight of how important it is to not only be a great performer, but also to be a good audience member. When our fellow musicians stand up to share their music with us, the very least we can do is to give them:
1. Our full attention.
2. Our support through generous applause.
3. Our respect (not opening candy wrappers or playing on our cell phones)
4. Good body posture --not slumping or leaning on the person next to you.
5. A smile.
The last is one of the most overlooked parts of being a good audience member, and it is something to consider next time you're watching a fellow musician perform. Looking out into a sea of faces that appear bored, angry, or simply unsupportive can be very stressful to a performer and can cause concentration issues.
So the next time you are in an audience of any kind, try out these few ideas. This doesn't mean you have to sit in the crowd with a crazy grin on your face the whole recital, it just means relaxing and enjoying the music with a pleasant expression. After all, you can't see your facial expression, but the performer can. And whether or not you mean it, you may be conveying negative messages through your body language.
Lets all try to be like THIS audience to help encourage our colleages to do their very best.