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Respect for Your Colleagues

This is the third in a series of four articles about four pillars of respect that are essential for any great musical ensemble. These ideas were gleaned from a presentation my wife, Noelle (a professional violinist), and I gave to the members of the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra about how to have a successful experience in a symphony orchestra.

The four pillars are:

Respect for the Music
Respect for the Conductor
Respect for your Colleagues
Respect for Yourself

The students helped us create a list of the many ways one demonstrates those traits when they are part of a performing group such as a symphony orchestra, band, or any other group that strives for excellence. You can find the first list (Respect for the Music) here and the second list (Respect for the Conductor) here. Here is the third list.

How to Show Respect for Your Colleagues

  • Be supportive
  • Don’t play over someone else
  • Be on time
  • Don’t waste time (e.g. being inattentive)
  • Tuning = tune your instrument and then be quiet
  • Don’t show off with overly fancy warm ups
  • Don’t get obsessed with competing
  • Don’t change the way you treat others based on where they are sitting or their rank
  • Welcome constructive criticism
  • Show support for good solos
  • Respect the other sections
  • Offer help in a respectful and tactful way
  • Don’t block anyone’s view
  • Respect each other’s space

As with the first two lists, Noelle and I were impressed with these thoughtful, constructive ideas to get along with your peers. These are traits musicians of all ages should demonstrate.