4 comments on “5 Rules of Amateur Artist Etiquette

  1. Wow, this is an excellent post! As a pro musician, I’ve come to avoid working with amateurs because I ended up being judged or be held at crazy standard by them so often that it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I felt that people were trying to prove that they know stuff.
    For example, I’d accompany a choir and be sight-reading a new piece, and people would make comments about the dynamics I had done. In a pro choir, singers are happy about the fact that you just sight-read the thing, and they trust that more of the dynamics will come in every time you play it again!
    Also, in pro theatre, people know how hard it is to make a living, and so people are understanding that if something comes in that pays well, that’s understandable if you mention it ahead of time. I was hired to be the music director for an amateur theatre, and then I was hired for something else for six weeks that would make me miss the first rehearsal of that other show. When I told them, they said that they were looking for someone more professional and committed, and they fired me! That would have never happened in pro theatre.
    So anyways, reading your article gave me hope that things may change! So thank you!


    • Thanks for sharing, Geraldine. I run in both circles. I occasionally do professional gigs (pro choir directing and singing), but not as a career, and I think that amateurs or people who are used to hiring/engaging amateurs don’t always show the respect and courtesies to the pros (like time and money).

      Sight-reading is an interesting topic for me. I know pianists who play concert/recital material at a pro-level, but can’t easily sight-read a simple choir anthem. On the flip-side, there are pianists like me who can sight-read most accompaniments well enough but don’t have solo piano skills like that. But guess who’s more valuable in a rehearsal setting? As far as people not understanding the difference, and showing impatience…that’s where a good director preps the pianist with plenty of lead time to practice.

      Thanks so much for your reading and your comments!

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