Author Topic: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?  (Read 6501 times)

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jane7166

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Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« on: May 31, 2014, 11:27:02 AM »
DD, DH and I went to a small concert in a church yesterday.  Featured were 2 pianists, playing classical arranged for 2 pianos.  The setting was 3 rows of chairs set in an oval around the 2 pianists.  DD, DH and I were sitting in the second row, about 30 feet away from one of the pianists. 

The first piece was by Mozart.  I had never heard it before which is not surprising because I am not really into classical music.  I went because DD and DH wanted to go and DD sings in a choral group that these 2 pianists used to be associated with. 

A family including 2 boys, ages around 8 and 10, I guess, were seated behind us.  They and an adult were whispering during most of the Allegro and it was annoying but the piece was loud so it was just annoying.  The Allegro was very long.  People clapped at the end of it, including the boys, a no-no but I think they thought it was the whole piece.  Not a big deal. 

The Andante started.  As the boys were whispering, rather loudly, "Andante means slow and rather soft, as opposed to allegro, which means much faster, and the next part is going to be allegro again, whisper, whisper, see, I looked up the definition, etc., etc."  This also meant that their constant whispering was VERY distracting and I was wondering if this was going to be a problem during the whole concert.  Which was looking like a very, very long concert. 

I did the head turn towards them.  No effect.  I did it again.  No effect.  Someone in the row ahead of me turned around to look.  No effect.  I finally turned totally around, looked at each one of them, and mouthed the words in a whisper, "You are too loud!"

That worked.  They were golden during the rest of the concert.  Good kids!  I did hear one of the adults with them say soon after, some comment about that's one way to learn concert manners.

At intermission, I went out to get a drink of water and the two boys and an adult from their group were walking past me towards the restroom.  The adult, who I knew slightly because she often takes tickets at these concerts, stopped me and said, "Thank you so much for ruining these boys first concert for them.  They were invited here personally by [one of the pianists' names] and you spoiled it for them."

I paused because I was trying to figure out why the special status of being invited guests would excuse bad behavior and, if it really did, how was I to know that?  Then I said, "That is not defensible.  People from the first row were turning their heads around." 

She and the boys were walking away by that time. 

I did commit some PA behavior by relating the incident to my husband during the rest of the intermission in full hearing of two others in their group and remarking that this is not a family room, this is a concert and I paid to hear the pianists. 

After the concert ended, we said hello and thank you to both performers and left.  The woman who confronted me does have some influence in the choral group that my DD is a part of.  DD has a disability which does not affect her singing but she is less than capable of defending herself if confronted with infighting and politics so I hope my exasperation at these boys doesn't affect her. 

I think I was right to tell the kids they were too loud - help me if I'm wrong. 


PastryGoddess

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 11:36:17 AM »
So you ruined the boy's first concert by not allowing them to annoy everyone else around them with their whispering.   ::)   


<sarcasm> Yes you were horribly rude</sarcasm>.  No really you were fine to ask them to stop whispering.  They were the rude ones and it worked to get them to shut up. 

m2kbug

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2014, 11:39:59 AM »
I don't think you were wrong, obviously their parents/adults in their group were not going to quiet them down.  Perhaps unaware of how loud they were, I would allow that much of a mistake, but I think the hints were there that they were bothering other audience members, so that one can't really fly.  It's just not good manners to talk through a concert at all and this should have been curbed from the beginning.  So you upset their mom (?), too bad.  I'm glad they didn't start being obnoxious for the rest of the concert just to get you back or annoy you, the retaliation.  They had to good sense to accept criticism and keep quiet. 

Luci

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2014, 11:42:51 AM »


A family including 2 boys, ages around 8 and 10, I guess, were seated behind us.  They and an adult were whispering during most of the Allegro and it was annoying but the piece was loud so it was just annoying.  The Allegro was very long.  People clapped at the end of it, including the boys, a no-no but I think they thought it was the whole piece.  Not a big deal. 
 

 The woman who confronted me does have some influence in the choral group that my DD is a part of.
 
I think I was right to tell the kids they were too loud - help me if I'm wrong.

You were OK. That's what most of us do.

Anyone who is in music at all should know the whispering during the performance and applauding between movements is not acceptable. The woman should have prepared the boys beforehand, but I guess she didn't know any better, either, even though she is associated with the choral group.

If she keeps complaining about you, someone will surely straighten her out.

ti_ax

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 12:05:26 PM »
"They were ruining it for me."

Aquamarine

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 01:54:19 PM »
So you old meeeeenie, you spoiled pwescious first concert!  I am reeling from the horror of what those poor, poor boys suffered!/s  The woman with them was; ignorant, wrong, rude, entitled, self centered, enabling and thoughtless with a "kids first" mentality.  She makes it sound like their talking was ok since "they were invited".  *Gasp* probably most of the other people in attendance were invited to some degree as well so by her reasoning it would be OK if everyone just talked through the whole thing.  Pretty much the woman thinks you were wrong and rude for doing the job she should have done from the start.  There is nothing "mean" about telling kids to zip it, it's called preparing them for life, you know doing a parent's job.  I hope these young boys don't think it's OK to talk through someone's wedding or funeral because after all "they were invited".

Absolutely unbelievable.  People wonder why some of us avoid families and family activities like the black death - this is a shining example of why we do.  I go to movies in the daytime, midweek, first show, two weeks or more after first release, request no seating by families in every situation when it's possible and patronize absolutely no place where "Kids eat free".  This is why many of us act this way.  Parents are very different than they used to be and not in a good way.

Edited to add:  These caregivers missed a prime opportunity to instruct these boys on how an invited guest behaves. As a guest there are certain expectations of your behavior on the host's part.  If you're not a good guest you will stop being invited to things, if you're a good guest and meet your responsibilities then all sorts of new experiences can open up to you.  It's all so simple to teach and these caregivers failed their children horribly.  Social negligence is my term for it.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 02:00:35 PM by Rosewater »
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

Cali.in.UK

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2014, 02:07:13 PM »
You were not rude, if someone is doing something that is against the social etiquette of the activity you are engaged in and it's lessening your own enjoyment of the activity you are within your rights to ask them to stop. Example: if you were at a sports game, you would probably seem like the unreasonable one if you asked the kids to be quiet because loud fans are part of a sporting environment but at a classical concert their parents should have told them to be quiet. I think that that woman's behavior was pretty unreasonable if she a) heard them whispering/talking during a quiet-appropriate situation and didn't tell them to stop b) saw other people getting bothered by their behavior and didn't tell them to stop and c) then confronted you in a dramatic fashion after you asked them to stop. From what you wrote it doesn't sound like you spoke in a mean/scary way to the kids so I think the woman was being overly sensitive.

lakey

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2014, 02:18:10 PM »
If people are turning around multiple times as a hint that they're bothered by the talking, then this group's talking goes beyond thoughtlessness to deliberate bad behavior. The parents knew that the kids' talking was disturbing others, and they didn't care at all. Your mouthing a message to them was fine.

cicero

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2014, 03:01:52 PM »
you were not rude.

The PA behavior was... well, you know it was PA which should be avoided. But other than that, you didn't do anything bad.

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Zizi-K

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2014, 03:26:28 PM »
There probably was a more kindly way to shush the boys, who are young and inexperienced enough not to quite have their special-event manners down. However, I can empathize with your exaggeration, and it would have taken me a great deal of self-control to muster the smile+finger-to-lips motion that would have gone over better. You were a bit harsh, but understandably so. This harshness allowed them to ignore your reasonable request and in fact to blame you for their own feelings of shame and embarrassment. Their mom missed a good opportunity to teach them how to distinguish the message from the emotions of the messenger.

jane7166

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 04:08:33 PM »
There probably was a more kindly way to shush the boys, who are young and inexperienced enough not to quite have their special-event manners down. However, I can empathize with your exaggeration, and it would have taken me a great deal of self-control to muster the smile+finger-to-lips motion that would have gone over better. You were a bit harsh, but understandably so. This harshness allowed them to ignore your reasonable request and in fact to blame you for their own feelings of shame and embarrassment. Their mom missed a good opportunity to teach them how to distinguish the message from the emotions of the messenger.

OP here.  Yeah, I didn't like saying what I did but it didn't occur to me to do the shh thing.  I wanted to get the point across fast and not be a part of the problem.  I also didn't want to wait until the end of the piece - I looked at my watch at the end, it was over a half hour long!

I don't think this was the mom - maybe an aunt?  She wasn't sitting next to them, the seating was her, adult, adult, boy, boy, with the adult and first boy sitting directly behind me so I got the full force of the loud whispering.  I'm not sure how any of these people were related but the fact that she knew who I was through my DD probably gave her the notion to tell me off.   And I don't feel good about any of this. 

Venus193

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2014, 05:03:58 PM »
So you ruined the boy's first concert by not allowing them to annoy everyone else around them with their whispering.   ::)   


<sarcasm> Yes you were horribly rude</sarcasm>.  No really you were fine to ask them to stop whispering.  They were the rude ones and it worked to get them to shut up.

I agree.  8 and 10 years is more than old enough to know that talking during a concert is rude.

TootsNYC

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2014, 05:09:42 PM »
I don't think this was the mom - maybe an aunt?  She wasn't sitting next to them, the seating was her, adult, adult, boy, boy, with the adult and first boy sitting directly behind me so I got the full force of the loud whispering.  I'm not sure how any of these people were related but the fact that she knew who I was through my DD probably gave her the notion to tell me off.   And I don't feel good about any of this.

I would question whether she was even accurate about whether the boys' experience was ruined.

But of course, if she is annoyed and takes that out on DD, then you may have an issue. I'd just be alert.

One thing I sometimes do is, when the musical piece is over, give the former talkers a friendly smile. and maybe make a comment ("beautiful, wasn't it? So fascinating to hear and watch the two pianos interacting!") that has nothing to do with the noise thing. Just to show there are no hard feelings, -and- to show that I'm not the boss of them (i.e., I don't compliment them on finally behaving properly, etc.).

delabela

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2014, 05:11:00 PM »
It sounds like they were a little overeager about the concert - at least they were talking about the music and not how much they didn't want to be there. 

Someone needed to clue them in that they needed to be quieter.  I do think it would have been better to ask if they could please be quieter, but that's probably just a personal preference.

TootsNYC

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Re: Incident at the classical music concert - was I bad?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2014, 05:25:41 PM »
Given that Complaining Lady is a music person herself, you'd think she would have. Without ruining their concert.