First time classical tips

You might be worried about not knowing what to do or when to clap. Help is at hand!

Research says that many people are put off coming to classical music concerts because they don’t know the rules. While there are many initiatives which have tried to relax those rules (for example, the OAE’s award-winning Night Shift is billed as ‘Classical Music without the Rules’) it's good to know what to do. So here are Southbank Centre's own Director of Music Gillian Moore's Rules for going to a Classical Concert: 

  1. Love the experience of sitting in a comfortable seat with no distractions, listening to glorious music for an hour or two.
  2. The more you put in, the more you get out: if you don’t know the music, read up about it on the internet beforehand, or arrive early, get a drink and buy a programme.
  3. When the music itself is playing, stay as silent as possible: there are often a lot of very quiet moments.
  4. Check, double check and check again that your mobile phone is switched off.
  5. When the music stops, clap if you want to. There is a convention not to clap between movements, but it’s not a strict one.
  6. Wear what you like.
  7. Be nice to the person sitting next to you.  Even if they break one of the above rules. This might be their first concert too.

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