In a songwriting class I'm teaching, we're experimenting with applause.
Every other week, we refrain from clapping after people play their songs around the circle. On the weeks in between, we applaud as usual.
I am curious to see how this changes both our playing and our listening.
So far, one student has told me that, when she knows there won't be an opportunity to politely show appreciation after a song (whether she likes it or not) she listens better and is more present.
Other songwriter/performers seem uncomfortable with the idea (as I myself have been at times) thinking that applause is a necessary expression of respect and appreciation. Without it, what's an audience to do? Why would a performer perform?
Our next class is an "applause" week.
Knowing that we can't always take applause for granted, I wonder whether we'll enjoy giving and receiving it more.