s an orchestral and performing musician, etiquette is something I take very seriously.
Though you may think that rather odd coming from me considering how I tend to be fairly (okay, maybe COMPLETELY) over the top.
I learned very quickly, and from personal experience, just how important it is to act and behave in a professional manner in rehearsal settings. I was a very mischievous young student in undergrad and made everyone’s life rather difficult. After being confronted by numerous conductors and professors about my poor behavior and subsequently how it affected me continuing my degree, I learned that some serious changes needed to take place.
Now, two degree later, I don’t take rehearsals with a grain of salt. Regardless of the type of rehearsal, whether it be wind ensemble or orchestra, I treat each rehearsal as a professional and paying gig. There’s nothing that irritates me more than when someone comes into a rehearsal not knowing their part and acting like they have better things to do.
Quite frankly, childish behavior is completely unacceptable in these settings.
I tend to notice the more recalcitrant behavior in wind symphony rehearsals. Why? Because fellow musicians feel like the music is a waste of their time and effort. This type of attitude is egregiously counterproductive to the other musicians that come prepared and are courteous to others. Not to mention the rude factor, especially to those who are there to really learn something.
And, really, this behavior is just setting yourself up for failure in the professional world.
I’m confident in saying that the clarinet studio at CCM has by far the best etiquette when it comes to rehearsals et al. Why? Because the faculty take the time teach and educate us all on what is acceptable and what is not.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while and now seems like a perfect time.
Here is a link to one of the handouts we get every year in the clarinet studio. Richie Hawley composed this list of “what to do and what not to do,” and I consider it to be one of the best, and definitive, lists available. This should really be in the pedagogical repertoire of every teacher, regardless of instrument.
I wish this could be handed out to all the musicians in our ensembles and make it a school wide policy. A necessary “Code of Conduct”, so to speak.