Engaging the Concert Audience

A Musician's Guide to Interactive Performance

"Buy Now" to view and securely purchase the available paperback / digital editions at our publishing partner Hal Leonard LLC.
Berklee Textbook featured featured-textbooks New Arrivals
  • Suggested Retail Price: $16.99
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 176
  • Dimensions: 5.75x9
  • ISBN: 9780876391914
  • SKU: 00244532
  • Publication Date: September 20, 2018

Related Online Courses & Programs

Bachelor of Professional Studies: Music Business

Learn the Modern Music Business with Berklee. Discover the opportunities available in music promotion, distribution, concert touring, music publishing, music marketing, and artist management.

Developing Your Artistry

Developing Your Artistry explores what it means to be an artist—both from a philosophical and practical perspective. It will examine artistry and how it has been defined throughout time, in addition to topics such as creativity as a habit, aesthetics, health as it relates to your work, planning, and sustaining your career.

Music Industry Entrepreneurship

Focus your efforts and dramatically increase your chances of success by learning the entrepreneurial tools particular to the music industry, including business structures, finance, marketing, management, and leadership. Create a concise business plan that you can apply to many different music business ventures.

Artist Management

Explore the role and importance of an artist manager, what they do, and how it impacts the career of the artist and their brand.

Learn to engage, excite, captivate, and expand your audience!

These practical techniques will help you to communicate with your listeners on a deeper, more interactive level. As you do, the concert experience will become more meaningful, and the bond between you and your audience will grow.

Whether you are performing music for an audience, teaching a group of students, leading an ensemble, or just speaking publicly, your success as a performing musician directly depends on your ability to connect. Featuring real-life examples and actual concert transcripts from several different genres and performance settings, this text gives you the tools you need to deepen your impact, build an enduring relationship with your fans, and sustain a long-term musical career.

You will learn to:

  • Design concerts that capture and maintain your audience’s attention
  • Develop an engaging stage presence
  • Create meaningful activities for your audience that increase their enjoyment and understanding of your material
  • Communicate as an ambassador across cultures and languages
  • Become more engaging, interactive, educational, and memorable

David Wallace is an active performer, concert organizer, and educator. Currently chair of Berklee College of Music’s String Department, Wallace previously enjoyed a fourteen-year tenure as a Juilliard professor, and seventeen years as a New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist.

Engaging the Concert Audience should be required reading for every musician—young and old, professional and amateur. David’s passion for music leaps off the page and challenges readers to consider the fundamental truths of what it means to be a musician: why do we do what we do, and how do we do it to the best of our ability? Applying his strategies quickly makes us better communicators and more compelling artists.

Since I have incorporated David’s advice into my own concerts and audience engagement efforts, I have witnessed a profound, positive impact on my listeners. It is a great joy to witness my audiences listening with excitement, deeper understanding, and enthusiasm.

For musicians seeking to connect, build a fan base, and develop future audiences, here is your answer: Engaging the Concert Audience by David Wallace.”

—Rachel Barton Pine, Grammy-nominated violinist, composer, author, and recording artist


Engaging the Concert Audience is the essential guide to creating successful, insightful, innovative, interactive concerts. Every musician and concert programmer must read this book and learn its delightful lessons. Why? You will meet the future inside these covers—your concert-presenting future, and our field’s potential. Thank you, David Wallace!”

—Eric Booth, author, The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible


Engaging the Concert Audience will help millions more people engage with live music in enduring ways. I was floored reading it because it contains so much truth. In a well-organized fashion, David lays out many tried-and-true methods to engage audiences with music of all genres in serious, playful, focused, spirited, and creative ways. Each method and illustration takes you deeper in your understanding, to make your concerts really work and have a lasting impact on communities.”

—Eli Yamin, musician; managing artistic director of Jazz Power Initiative; author, So You Want to Sing the Blues


“David Wallace’s book should be a must-read for any concert musician, period. As a performer, you have a duty to reach out and provide context for your listeners so they can connect with your art. This is the book that gives you the tools you need to start really engaging any kind of audience in any situation.”

—Jessica Meyer, composer, violist, singer, founding member of counter)induction and Piaclava


Engaging the Concert Audience is a must-read for any serious teaching artist! Dr. Wallace doesn’t simply tell you what to do, but he teaches you what not to do and why. This book provides musicians with fresh and effective ways to present interactive programming to audiences of all ages, backgrounds, and musical tastes.”

—Jerome Jennings, leader, The Jerome Jennings Group; nominee, Gran Prix du Disque

Engaging the Concert Audience propels us into the future with engaging thinking and masterful musicianship. These pages will lead you into fruitful and exciting thinking for navigating the waters of your performing career. David Wallace is my hero!”

Mark Wood, Emmy-winning composer, platinum recording-artist, original member and lead-violinist, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, collaborator with Celine Deon, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz.


David Wallace

Whether playing classical viola with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Texas fiddle with The Doc Wallace Trio, electric…