Social media has completely changed how we communicate and experience the world, and similar changes in artistic experiences are inevitable. As performing arts organizations struggle to stay relevant and cultivate a rapidly changing audience, the use of social media for marketing and interaction are increasingly necessary. The style section of a local newspaper may not be the first place a potential patron will look for upcoming events and performances. Twitter and Facebook have become excellent sources of information regarding upcoming concerts and are effective tools for patrons to interact with previously closed-off organizations, before and after a performance.
The question of using social media during a performance is obviously complicated. The dictionary defines an experience as “direct observation of, or participation in events as a basis of knowledge.” If a musical performance is meant to be an artistic experience, tweeting during a concert could potentially hinder the “direct observation” piece. In our constantly moving, hyper-connected culture, we sometimes sacrifice being present in the moment for communicating with our online circles about what we just read, heard, or attempted to experience.
I attended a chamber music performance recently which featured a Copland piece I haven’t heard in years. After being asked to contribute to this blog, I thought to myself during the performance, “What would I miss in the next phrase if I were engaging someone on Twitter about what I heard in the introduction?” While merely thinking about Twitter, I realized I had just missed one of my favorite points in the piece. If that had been my first exposure to it, that beautiful section may have become a lost moment in time. It is also a good idea to be perceptive to your surroundings and note that a smartphone screen immediately draws the eye in a dark hall and could detract from another patron’s experience. However, is a bright screen any more or less distracting than the sweet sounds of a cough drop wrapper?
There are certainly positive and practical applications for Twitter during a live performance. Some artists use it to interact and let the audience choose the encore. Major arts organizations designate live Tweeters among their staff to share program notes that the audience can follow during the show.
An outdoor concert may be a more appropriate venue for live tweeting than the Kennedy Center, but the element of removing yourself from the experience remains, if even for a moment to snap an Instagram of your ticket stub. You could be missing out on a potentially life-altering moment, but ultimately the artistic experience is yours to create, document, tweet, clap, or just listen.
Victoria Chamberlin is the Director of Business Development for the National Association for Music Education, where she is also a member of the social media team. She holds a master of music degree from the University of North Texas.
Professional Achievement Award Nomination Deadline is Feb. 28
All Collegiate members who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive the Professional Achievement Award.
Criteria: (all requirements apply)
- Student must be currently enrolled in an active NAfME Collegiate chapter.
- Student must have been a Collegiate member of NAfME in the school year prior to the current one.
- Student must possess an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent during the year of the application.
- Student must verify participation and involvement in chapter activities.
For each eligible Collegiate member, chapter advisors should send a completed Professional Achievement application and a description of the eligible member’s participation and involvement in chapter-related activities to NAfME. Applications must be sent to NAfME on or before February 28. Senior recipients of this recognition are also eligible for the Caitlin Merie Hurrey Scholarship, administered by the Calvert County, Maryland Arts Council.
Spring Semester Is Here – Time To Roll Out the Welcome Mat!
Spring semester is here, and with it comes the opportunity to recruit newly enrolled music education students for membership in NAfME Collegiate.
Here are a few ideas to increase your chapter membership numbers.
- Ask professors to promote NAfME membership to students in their classes. Provide them with NAfME Collegiate brochures, and the date and time of the next meeting. Contact SusanL@nafme.org for brochures.
- Ask members to bring a friend or friends to your next meeting. It’s always better to attend a meeting for the first time with a friend!
- Provide prospective members with membership brochures, applications, and a calendar of events to the visitors.
- Follow up with visitors after they have attended a meeting. Thank them for visiting the chapter and invite them to your next event.
Attendance at your state conference is also a great reason to join, renew memberships and re-activate chapters. NAfME Collegiate members can take advantage of all of the professional development offerings, performances, and networking opportunities at a significantly reduced registration rate.
So – Roll out the welcome mat for all music ed students in your school who have not yet joined you in NAfME Collegiate! They don’t know what they’re missing unless you tell them!
MARCH is Music In Our Schools Month®!
Music In Our Schools Month is the time to show your support for school music programs by hosting concerts, inviting state and local school officials and legislators to participate in Music In Our Schools Month activities, and so much more.
Every year, NAfME provides audio tracks and sheet music at no cost to members for use in the Concert for Music In Our Schools Month. Please use these free resources throughout the months of February and March as you prepare for MIOSM!
NAfME Collegiate “Gives a Note!”
Join other NAfME Collegiate chapters nationwide and sign the “Give A Note” pledge, promising to raise $200 per year for the next 3 years for the Give A Note Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to help provide music education to underserved communities and populations.
Raising money for the foundation is a great service project for your chapter and would be eligible for consideration in the Chapter of Excellence Awards program.
Help Give A Note ensure that all students have access to quality music education programs by signing the Give A Note pledge now.
Questions about the campaign can be directed to Jennifer Gray Schleining at 571-323-5957 or JenniferS@giveanote.org.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, go to www.nafme.org and click on the “Donate” tab on the top banner.
- Stay connected with other NAfME Collegiate members around the world by joining NAfME’s Collegiate Facebook Fan page. Become a fan on NAfME Collegiate today!
- Want to know what’s happening in music education? Become a fan of NAfME on Facebook!
NAfME on LinkedIn
Connect with fellow NAfME members and music education advocates on LinkedIn, the professional networking site. Participate in discussions about current topics, get music education news, and network with others in the field. To join, log in to LinkedIn, select “Search Groups” from the top dropdown menu, and search for “NAfME.” If you haven’t created an account yet, you can sign up at linkedin.com.