Letter to the Editor: I’m ‘Noisy; Unpleasant Child’s’ Parent

By MANDY MARKSTEINER
Trumpet player and parent of two
Los Alamos
 
I’m coming clean. I am the parent of the “noisy and unpleasant child” at the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. Shame on me for not keeping her under control!
 
I would have liked to remove her from the audience, but my husband and I were both playing in the band. We spend a lot of time rehearsing, and our kids wanted to hear us play. We want to teach them about music and give them opportunities to hear live music.
 
But they were noisy. I heard it, too.
 
Unfortunately, it was a situation where there was nothing I could do.
 
Now I get the distinct impression that children, and specifically my children, aren’t welcome at concerts. I was playing at another concert later in the week and an audience member recognized my daughter and said something nasty to my husband. He was so upset that we didn’t stay. And now, I am humiliated to wake up on a Monday morning to discover that my parenting is being discussed in the news.
 
I would like to make a suggestion for audience members who are concerned about a child who is making noise. Consider whispering politely to the parent or caretaker that they should take the child out in the hall. As a performer I would have found that considerate and reasonable.
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