Analysis June 2023: Concerts for neurodiverse audiences

Child dancing (Jag Gundu) (2)

Ensembles and venues are increasingly programming concerts designed for neurodiverse audiences – and concertgoers young and old are responding positively

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People with autism and other kinds of neurodiversity can feel excluded from being able to enjoy classical concerts because there are no accommodations for them. Consider the accepted concert etiquette and the unspoken rules of no clapping between movements, of being quiet during the music, and not fidgeting, moving around or standing up, and it’s easy to see how incompatible such an environment is with a neurodivergent audience. With autism spectrum disorder affecting an estimated 1–2 per cent of the world’s population, and 15–20 per cent estimated to have some form of neurodivergence, large numbers of people may be missing out on the chance to experience live classical music, and concert presenters could be overlooking a significant potential audience…

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