Musicians know how helpful listening to professional recordings can be when learning a specific piece of music. You can glean a general idea of rhythm, pitch, and even some ideas on tone and interpretation. But in an age of YouTube, Netflix, and other online media, why is it still valuable and necessary to attend live concerts and performances?
Concert Etiquette - When to clap, what to wear, and what you can expect during a concert program are all traditions that have existed for over 300 years in the concert hall. Learning about audience culture not only elevates the concert experience, but it also fosters mutual respect between listeners and performers.
Acoustics - Seasoned performers know how to adjust their playing style to suit dry as well as lively venues. How you sound to the audience is very difficult to judge onstage, so the only way to study how acoustics actually works is from the viewpoint of the audience themselves!
Exposure - When searching the internet for media, we tend to be very specific with what we are looking for. When you attend a live performance, you have no control over what pieces you will be hearing. Just being exposed to different styles, periods, performers, and composers will allow you the opportunity to find a new favorite to add to your playlist.
Music as an Art Form - Music is the only art form that can only be experienced once, at the time of the performance. Recording engineers have tried to capture the “raw electricity in the air” and how performers instinctually adjust their playing to suit their audience’s reactions, but the only way to truly experience music as an art form is to physically be a part of it. There is nothing quite like locking eyes with a performer and knowing that they are trying to communicate directly with you!