Janet Horvath offers 12 tips for having manners in the orchestra

Janet Horvath, the author of the book, Playing Less Hurt has offered up her advice on having manners while in the orchestra. Everyone wants to be successful in the orchestral setting but it doesn’t hurt to remember your manners with your fellow orchestra family. It’s important to keep the environment from becoming toxic and getting along with one another is the first step in doing so. Below are five quick tips to help you along.


00332931If you are to be successful in an orchestral setting, you need to have manners— unwritten rules of behavior that will help you become successful in the orchestra family. It’s tough enough that you have to take direction all the time from the conductor and also your section leader. Annoying behavior from colleagues makes the whole workplace toxic.
So here are a few tips:

1. Be prepared. Know your music before the first rehearsal. Sight-reading is a not appreciated by others who have spent hours learning the music.

2. If you’ve borrowed the music be considerate to your stand partner and arrive at the rehearsal early with the music. They might like to glance at a few tough licks.

3. Be in your seat well before the time for tuning. There is nothing worse than having a colleague racing in at the last minute who then jostles the music stand and shuffles chairs to make enough room for him or herself when the conductor is already coming onstage.

4. Agree with your stand partner where you can put a few markings or fingerings, in pencil. Typically in the string section, the person sitting on the outside of the stand will write above the staff and the person sitting on the inside of the stand will write below the staff but keep these to a minimum. The music has to be legible and erasable for performances down the road.

5. Do not talk during the rehearsal unless it’s a direct question to your section leader. Every orchestra has a jokester who chatters a running commentary during the rehearsal. Although it can be funny it is distracting to the other members of the orchestra.

Read the rest here.

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About HLPAPG

Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on July 20, 2015, in Classical & Opera and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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