When audiences feel like participants, you can program contemporary music.

great reader commentThis comment by Gretchen Statthoff appeared on another comment post "How much theory is too much for an audience?" A valuable addition to the discussion of connecting classical music audiences to the music we perform for them:

Hi David,

I have been speaking to audiences for a few years, seeing how engaged they might become. After trying out that approach several times, I've decided that NO audience is stupid... being friendly and inviting them in makes a big difference.

They like being included. When they feel like participants, you can program contemporary music. They end up liking it, and coming to meet me afterward to discuss the concert!

Over the past year, I've performed one group of 4 Messiaen Preludes in NYC and CT (2 places), as well as in a country church in MA. All of those situations worked.

I try not to use jargon ~ turns people off. To accomplish that, I just visualize myself in, say, a hardware store. Audience members do have experience, just in fields other than ours.

Great post!

Gretchen

I just posted several YouTube videos of a preconcert talk I gave on Stravinsky L'Histoire du Soldat, the arrangement for clarinet violin and piano. I also posted the performance.

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4 comments for “When audiences feel like participants, you can program contemporary music.

  1. August 10, 2010 at

    "Audience members do have experience, just in fields other than ours."
    This is so true. Audiences are much more willing to listen to "odd" music when you can relate it to pop-culture, or give them something out-of-the-ordinary to listen to.

    • August 11, 2010 at

      Hi Tamsyn. I tweeted your blog yesterday. Good stuff on teaching music to children!!

      Thanks for your comment.

      D

  2. August 7, 2010 at

    You are welcome!

  3. GretchensPianos
    August 7, 2010 at

    Thanks so much, David! I feel honored!

    Gretchen

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