When Do I Clap? An Insider's Guide to Symphony Concerts
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When Do I Clap? An Insider's Guide to Symphony Concerts

Learn everything you need to know about orchestra and classical music concerts to feel smart and sexy at the symphony!
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,027 students enrolled
Created by Tom Peters
Last updated 11/2014
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
5 hours left at this price!
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Enjoy attending symphony orchestra concerts with the confidence of an insider
  • Learn about classical music from a Grammy® nominated classical musician
  • Feel smart and sexy at the symphony
View Curriculum
  • You should have a desire to explore a really exciting form of music.

When do I clap? That’s the one question about attending symphony concerts that almost everyone is too afraid to ask. Everybody has an opinion, but few people really know the answer.

Imagine the following scenario:

The music has ended and a few people are nervously clapping while others are giving them some serious stink-eye. You think, “Should I clap, or shouldn’t I?” It seems like everybody has the rule book except for you. You begin to panic.

Relax — “When Do I Clap?” is here to help!

Let GRAMMY® nominated classical musician Tom Peters help guide you though the ins and outs of attending a symphony concert. Tom brings nearly 30 years of experience playing in professional orchestras to give you an insider’s look at how symphony concerts work.

This course teaches you all you need to know to be an insider in attending symphony concerts. We’ll talk about simple things, like knowing when to clap, when to arrive, and getting the best seats. We’ll discuss the instruments of the orchestra, what to listen for, and what all those hand gestures the conductor makes really mean.

If your date wants to go to the symphony, your boss has given you the firm’s season tickets to impress a client, or maybe you’ve been listening to the local classical radio station and want to see the symphony live, then this course is for you!

“When Do I Clap?” gives you the insider knowledge you need. In about 2 hours’ time, you’ll have everything you need to just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for people who enjoy classical music and want to attend a symphony concert, but who have little or no experience in navigating the complex etiquette that can make the experience feel intimidating.
  • This course is also for people who what want a deeper understanding of what is happening both onstage and backstage.
  • This course may not be for you if you if you have extensive experience in attending symphony concerts, but you would likely still learn something new.
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Curriculum For This Course
55 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:42
OMG the Concert's Tonight! A Quick and Dirty Primer
6 Lectures 10:07

When Do I Clap?

What Should I Wear and When Should I Arrive?

Can I Talk During the Concert?

POPS and Summer Concerts versus Regular Season concerts
What Should I Know About an Orchestra?
6 Lectures 13:42

Why are they all in Tuxedos?

How is an Orchestra Put Together?

What is a Concert Master and What are Principal Players?

Who Decides where the Players sit?

Why is everybody playing stuff before the concert starts?
The Instruments of the Orchestra
6 Lectures 16:58

What you Need to Know




What does the Conductor do?
5 Lectures 10:21

What Exactly is the Conductor doing up there?

What is the Role of a Conductor?

Who is the Conductor?

How much Power does a Conductor have?
What do I watch for on stage?
5 Lectures 11:43

Why do all the bows go in the same direction?

What's really going on between the musicians and the conductor?

What's it like onstage?

Do things go wrong?
Learning the Language
6 Lectures 15:28





Suites, Tone Poems and Oratorios
Tips on How to Listen
4 Lectures 07:22

Why all the old stuff? Is anyone writing this today?

The Listening Experience

What if I don't like it?
How to Plan a Night Out at the Symphony
5 Lectures 10:44

Choosing an Orchestra

Choosing a Concert

The Best Way to Buy Tickets

Where you should sit for the best experience
Behind-the-Scenes in the Life of an Orchestra Musician
5 Lectures 09:06
Overview: Behind-the-Scenes in the LIfe of an Orchestra Musician

What is the Job Description of an Orchestra Musician?

How do Auditions Work?

What Happens Before the Concert?

2 More Sections
About the Instructor
Tom Peters
5.0 Average rating
1 Review
1,027 Students
1 Course
GRAMMY® Nominated Classical Musician

Tom Peters is a composer and GRAMMY® nominated performer, performing with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra since 1993 and Southwest Chamber Music since 1998. He has performed as a soloist with Ensemble Oh-Ton, People Inside Electronics, MicroFest, and the Schindler House and many others, and has been featured on Nordwest Radio in Hamburg, Germany.

Tom specializes in creating music for silent films, performing original scores through interactive electronics and synchronized electronic soundscapes. In April 2013, he premiered his original score to the 1927 silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc—his ninth film—at the Toronto Silent Film Festival with Joelle Morton on tenor viol. The score was featured in a radio broadcast over the CBC. His latest score to John Ford’s classic western The Iron Horse (1924) will be premiered at The Autry National Center in Los Angeles in March 2015.

Tom’s 2014 GRAMMY® nominated recording of John Cage’s The 10,000 Things on the MicroFest label with acclaimed pianists Aron Kallay and Vicki Ray, legendary percussionist William Winant, and a recently discovered recording of John Cage himself performing 45’ for a Speaker was the first American recording of this seminal work.

Tom is also a prolific writer and is the Aspie of The Aspie and the NT. This blog, written together with his wife Linda, documents his life on the autism spectrum as someone diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and its effect on their relationship.

Tom is on the faculty of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at the California State University, Long Beach.