Tuning the Concert

Gold Arts Award Portfolio

My perfect concert as of Tuesday 3 August at 18.56 August 3, 2010

Filed under: 1D: issues — concerttuning @ 7:47 pm
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Though impractical, far-fetched and fantastical, if I could have it my way this would be the type of concert I would want to attend. If you hear of anything similar taking place, do let me know!

  • Comfortable. Ideally it would be as comfortable as my bed, with a duvet to snuggle under as well as pillows to prop oneself up on. Practically, rather than mattresses on the floor perhaps a concert hall could install a gently inclining foam floor with various foam shapes and pillows for people to lay across/sit on. Something a bit like those indoor child play areas.
  • Length. Normally I can only really appreciate an hours worth of music. However, if I fall asleep in the first 15mins I may feel disappointed if the concert is not very long. Ideally, you could choose to stay for as long as you wanted over a 2 hour period (ideally with a pay for what you hear ticketing system). If there was a 3-5mins break between each piece, people would be free to have a quick chat to their neighbours, stretch their legs or decide to leave if they had had enough. Plus this flexibility would allow you to choose which pieces you wanted to hear, as often I’ll only want to hear one half of the programme.

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Administrator turning Animateur July 27, 2010

I met Becky on 15 July 2010 to ask her some questions about her career and her view on Tuning the Concert.

She had previously had lots of teaching and workshop experience before working at the BBC Proms as learning and audience development administrator which then led onto her job of Learning Assistant at BBC Symphony Orchestra. Inspiringly, she is currently taking a part-time one day a week course at Goldsmiths to train as an animateur, which she hopes will help her career development.

When asked how successful music outreach is at introducing people to classical music and to the concert, she explained that is the process that participants go through is equally as important as inspring them to attend a concert.

However, there are a number of scheme and events to help introduce new-comers to the concert, such as the Out and About Prom at Westfield (reviewed here) and family introductions at the Proms as well as free Proms. Interestingly, her opinion has changed favourably about the Westfield event though crucially it presents serious music and maintains its quality, though in an alternative venue.

Amazingly, they managed to get 100 children to attend a concert where Stockhausen was programmed, as they were involved in the pre-concert performance. As they had to be there anyway, it was easier to get the families to attend the concert even though the programme was rather hard-core. It was a valuable lesson for the children in the way they formed an opinion of Stockhausen’s music, even if they didn’t choose to hear it again.

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