Last night we attended our first piano recital for 2 of my boys; my 7 year old and my 9 year old. They have been taking lessons for two months. Their piano teacher spent a considerable amount of time explaining a few expectations for the recital.
The program was being held at a mini concert hall that was part of a well respected Piano Gallery. The teacher was concerned about protocol such as arrival time, bowing and playing through mistakes and stressed the importance of not playing with the pianos in the gallery. Many of these instruments are over $20,000.
I was a bit annoyed how much of the last two lessons this lecture cut into. I also didn't need to be told several times about not touching the pianos, but I realized this must be an issue.
The boys wore dress pants, button-down shirts with ties and dress shoes. All the other students also dressed up. The hall was small but elegant and the children had the opportunity to play a concert-quality baby grand. With a few small bumps, the program went well. There was a five minute intermission before the older students performed. We had the option of leaving. We opted to stay.
While we were strolling about, I had to remind my 7 year old a few times about the "No Touching" rule as he started to reach out to play one of the gallery pianos. Several other families milling around, let their children run about and play on the pianos. My husband, who had missed the protocol lectures, didn't believe me. He pointed out all the other kids "tickling" the ivories and I countered that this didn't make it right.
I had my son go up to the desk and ask permission.
The receptionist looked at me and remarked, " He is the only child that asked permission!" and she pointed out a safe section of pianos to try out. I made sure she knew that we were told by the teacher not to touch any piano other than the one in the recital area or practice room.
I was a bit irritated with the other families for not paying attention to the rules. I now fully understood why so much time was spent to try to reinforce the importance of being respectful.
If you know the rules, follow them. If you are unsure, it never hurts to ask!.