by: Konner Scott
Despite what you might assume about someone who teaches music for a living, I tend to be quite introverted in my daily life. I experience a lot of anxiety surrounding social interaction- particularly with people I don’t know very well or I’m just meeting for the first time. As I’ve gotten older and had more opportunities to practice engaging in novel social situations, I’ve improved, but the anxiety and self-consciousness still follows me.
I’ve noticed that there’s one place where this feeling seems to dissipate: when I’m at a concert for an artist I really like. In those moments, I’m so caught up in the power of the music- and the excitement of seeing a performer whose music means so much to me- that it becomes much easier to turn to the person next to me and engage in conversation. (It also helps that the crowd around me is there for the exact same reason I am!)
In fact, it’s something I don’t even really think about. I’ll often get so swept up in the moment that, almost reflexively, I’ll turn to the stranger next to me and say some version of “oh my gosh, this is (insert song name here)! I love this song!” It’s often a gateway to further conversation- and if not, there’s an unspoken camaraderie in our mutual appreciation of the experience at hand… and I’ve found the rare rude response or odd look doesn’t pack the same punch in that setting.
At this point, I’m fortunate to have a number of friends I’ve either met in the crowd at a show, or spoken to after a show of my own. There’s an advantage to being a performer in this situation, too. If you do your job well, people will come up to you and engage you in conversation. No opening line necessary- your music will do the work for you!
Next time you feel like you need a new friend, find an artist you like and go to one of their shows. The barriers to social interaction will seem much lower!