Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPerforming Arts · 8 months ago

What do you think of people who play an instrument in public?

There is a piano in the main lobby of a building on my college campus. I often like to play on it because in my dorm I only have a cheap keyboard with no sustain pedal, so the music doesn’t sound as nice. When playing the piano one time, a guy started talking about my playing. I couldn’t hear everything he said, but I did hear him say something about Philip Glass (I was playing one of his pieces) and me trying to ‘show off’. I was really only playing for practice, but if someone were to come by and enjoy my playing, I wouldn't mind, I’d be really happy. Basically, my intentions were never to show off..


So I wanted to know if people who play instruments in public (for no money, just for fun, like in my scenario) are seen as show offs? 


I’m sorry if this came off a bit rude! I 

don’t mean to sound like I want to be proven right, I’m really sorry about that. I actually am curious because I don’t want to seem like a show off. I am self taught on piano and I want to improve, so I don’t really think I’m any good at it at all. If majority of people to see it as showing off, then I wouldn’t want to be a bother and will only play when it’s empty. Sorry if this came off rude.

14 Answers

  • 7 months ago

    I think that if they are pleasing to listen to, then why not?  A good musician playing in public can be refreshing to hear, rather than the usual boring, everyday stuff.

    Also, I’m a piano player, and I always wanted to play in public, but don’t due to high anxiety. So, I respect those people who get out there and play, because it takes a good deal of courage.

    To put it simply, I think it’s always great to hear a courageous musician playing in public, especially if they are talented!

  • 8 months ago

    they are good and i love it

  • Emdog
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    I take my guitar and battery powered amp down to beach here in Thailand most every day. Sometimes friends show up for a jam. There is a road next to beach, so plenty of background noise, BTW. Never for money: $600 fine for working without permit if you do & I don't need the money anyway. I play for myself & although we do get rounds of applause from time to time, I do my best to pay little attention to that. Not trying to show off, gives me something to do at beach other than sit there like a human lump.

    I used to play with Norwegian guy with donation box, but that was all for street boys home, never took a nickle. Raised >$30,000 over time, maybe $20 a "show".

    It is interesting that playing music in public does seem to open up ability to strike up conversation with passers by. My experience anyway. Met people from all over the world this way. Sometimes they want to take selfies with me, whatever.

     I assume you have a bit of skill as you're playing Glass & not On Top of Old Smokey. One common aspect of intelligence or skill is being aware of how much more there is to know. You could put a little sign up "If this bothers you, tell me & I'll stop. Thanks" I saw nothing in your post that was rude and sounds to me like you are not there to "show off". Trying to play well does not equal showing off.

  • 8 months ago

    If you want to be a poser then you have to suck it all up........

    Most people who think they can actually cannot!

    There is an old saying that those that can do and those who cannot teach, i think a teaching career is waiting for you,.

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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    If you get compared to PHilip Glass, then that is a good thing. 

    Source(s): 79
  • 8 months ago

    some might be showoffs but most are not

  • GA41
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    I love to listen to people play music in public.  I am always impressed by their boldness.  I don't think of it as showing off.  There music is evidence of their skill level.  If they are an excellent musician, I don't see it as showing off.  I see it as sharing their talent.  Don't let fear of what others think hold you back.  If you are not there to show off,  what does it really matter if they misunderstand you intention.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    I don't think it's appropriate or considerate to subject people to pieces by Philip Glass in public. Play those on your keyboard through headphones. If you want to play Chopin or Beethoven or Mozart that's perfectly fine.

  • 8 months ago

    Sing us a song you're the piano man.

  • 8 months ago

    Well. Yeah. It’s like someone going to Starbucks to write a book on their laptop. We’re not impressed. People have a basic understanding of human nature. We know what you’re doing... You’re looking for justification for being a turd and you’re not gonna find it.

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