Etiquette for School Concerts: 10 steps to enjoy a concert without wrecking it for everybody

EtiquetteforschoolconcertsI’ve been to a lot of different kinds of concerts, and the etiquette often depends on the venue, the kind of music, etc.

But there is a universal decorum for school choral and band concerts.

1. You don’t need to dress fancy, but you should at least wear clean clothes that are presentable in public. You should also make sure that you are free of any offensive odors. People will be sitting in close proximity to you. Please don’t smell like old cat urine, Axe Body Spray, or general filth.

2. This concert is about the kids. It is not about you. Yelling your child’s name, standing up and waving. Conducting from the back row, holding babies up in the air so that they can be seen, waving the flashlight of your cell phone back and forth so that the child can see you are unacceptable.

3. The only sounds that should happen in that auditorium is the children’s performance, the director’s announcements, and the appropriately timed applause. If your small child can’t sit still and quiet for the 1 hour performance, you should probably hire a babysitter, or take a parenting class.  If you cheer and yell your child’s name, rather than clap – you will distract them, embarrass them – as well as embarrass the people sitting near you – and in actuality, it SHOULD embarrass yourself. Unfortunately, because people may not have realized that it is not acceptable behavior – they aren’t embarrassed.

4. If you plan on taking pictures or video taping – please do so with courtesy for the people behind you. Don’t hold your cellphone or tablet or camera in the field of view of the people behind you. Don’t stand up at your seat. If you are concerned about getting a good shot, you should probably politely excuse yourself inbetween songs from your seat, and make your way to the side wall, in order to get a controlled shot that doesn’t distract others.


5. Please don’t leave until the entire performance is over. Your child is not the only child performing tonight. And while your child’s performance is important to you – the other children’s performance is important to their parents. Standing up, gathering coats, telling your entire family loudly, “IT’S TIME TO GO! C’MON!” isn’t really appropriate concert etiquette.

6. We all understand that sometimes bladders can’t handle a full hour. Try to prepare for this by emptying it before the performance. If it’s not enough, and you must leave to go to the restroom. Hold it until a pause between songs. If you come back in the auditorium during another song, please stand in the back until that song is over, and then make your way back to your seat. If you KNOW that you are the kind of person whose bladder is unable to withstand a torturous hour of sitting in an auditorium, sit in an aisle seat.

7. Please don’t try to clap along in time to the music. These kids are working hard and concentrating trying to keep the beat on their own. 600 people, no matter how good their sense of rhythm is – cannot clap in time together. The mass clapping will slow down or speed up the performance.

8. When leaving the auditorium. Please do so with courtesy. Let the older person  using a walker get by you. Don’t push, or shove, or rush your way out. If you have other plans on the night of a concert that involve you leaving quickly – you should cancel them, and take your time.

9. This one is so important, it deserves another mention. This concert is about the kids. Don’t make it about you. Do not draw attention to yourself in any way. If you want your child to know you are there – tell her AFTER the concert.

10. Tell your child afterward that he did a good job. Even if it stunk. Let him know that his efforts were appreciated, and that you enjoyed the concert. Don’t berate them for their mistakes. Don’t laugh at them and tell them they looked funny. Give them a hug and let them know that you are proud of them, and their hard work.  Also – when you see your kids friends, give them a high five and tell them “Great Job!” as well.

You matter…

I don’t know if you realize this or not. But you matter.

I can’t honestly say that you matter to ME. I may or may not know you. Our paths may never cross.

But I can promise you this.

Whether or not you think you deserve it…
Whether or not you identify yourself in a positive way…
Whether or not you think you are talented…
Whether or not your family truly loves you…
Whether or not you are lonely and empty…

Even if you feel content and happy and fullfilled…
Even if you feel broken and lost…
Even if you have no known need for it…
Even if you can’t even breathe without it…

No matter who you are, where you are, or what you’ve done…


The One who made you loves you more than you can even fathom. You matter to Him. whether or not you believe in or him, or ever will believe in Him…. He loves you.

So suck it in like a kid smelling the 2nd of June on his last day of school. It’s freedom, it’s hope, it’s purpose, it’s love.

And it comes from God.
You matter.

Too busy?

Business is good. Busyness isn’t necessarily.

Here lately, I’ve been very busy. Starting the new full-time job as a graphic designer at the Bradford Era, a part time job as a freelance reporter for the same, maintaining my own graphic design/marketing firm, and trying to build some residual passive income sources, I’ve found myself a little foggy-headed.

I’ve really got to keep the hustle going for a little longer, so that I can finish several outstanding projects, and get some of these new ideas off the ground. But I’ve got to be strategic, so that I don’t burn out.

I hear some good weather is on the way – I think I’ll take advantage of it to get out on the trails and in the woods. That always helps me get my mind centered and helps me feel refreshed.

Good Friday

On this day 2.000 years ago, a deed was done that changed my life forever. If you are looking or freedom, hope, fulfillment, purpose, passion, and forgiveness… it can be found in the work that was done on Good Friday. ‪#‎thankyoujesus‬

Cordoba #poetrythursday

I wrote this about a year before I met the girl of my dreams. I was in college, surrounded by late nights of drinking tea and studying geography books. I was fascinated with the city of Cordoba, and horribly lonely as I imagined who my love would one day be.
I’d love to take my wife to see Cordoba some day.


I gazed across the cobblestone street, focused on the hurdy-gurdy beggar.
The silver coin in his cup danced with him, winking.
I drummed my fingers, half-eager, half-anxious, against my third cup of tea,
still dreaming. I still asked words almost on my lips, “Who is she?”

The woman of my dreams sifts through my perceptions
and becomes as real as my bones, smiling a gentle blush,
fingering the handle of her cup, porcelain, still with a sip or two
of chocolate in the bottom.

“So how do you like Cordoba?”
“It’s beautiful.”
“I’m glad you came.”
“I’m glad to be here.”
“How was your flight?”
“I hardly remember it.”

Every word meant more than was spoken, and as
we drank the morning in that Cordovan cafe,
“Daniel” on the record player, every second in her eyes caressed me.
I placed my folded hands on the table in front of my cup.

“I… I don’t know what to say.”

She reached for my hands, and I winced inside, hoping she’d not see the scars.
With her hands in mine, I noticed she had them too.
We sat through midday, and watched the children on the streets of Cordoba
play with their smiles and laughter.
We watched the hurdy-gurdy man’s eyes gleam as a stranger would leave
a coin and a nod and walk on.

We talked about our pasts, and our futures, and our dreams. We watched midday to afternoon, and saw fathers coming home from the tannery. The hurdy-gurdy man packed up and bought a sandwich from his beggar’s fortune. The sun dipped deep to slumber and the moon blotted out the stars.
“Well, I have to leave now.”
After a soft kiss, and a squeeze of my hands,
she sifted back through my perceptions and
returned to that corner of my heart where she is always.
I push my chair under the table, and walk
down the empty streets of Cordoba, humming “Daniel”,
and drop a coin for the hurdy-gurdy man to find tomorrow.