You Know You’re an Orch Dork When . . .

This really made me laugh, especially because it’s all so true! Many thanks to Jessica Smith et al for sharing and contributing to this list on!

“You know you’re an orch. dork when:”

  • You buy light colored shirts to avoid rosin stains.
  • You get together with your friends and in the midst of deciding what to do, you find yourselves playing chamber music.
  • You debate about violinists, like other people debate about sports or politics.

  • You don’t go out on weekends because “you have an audition” the next day…or even orch-dorkier, a rehearsal.
  • You buy things like cookie cutters and pasta in the shape of musical notes and instruments.
  • You’ve put Tchaikovsky’s birthday on your calendar.
  • You know every viola joke by heart.
  • When you think about it, you really don’t think the viola jokes are that funny because you know that they are all so TRUE.
  • You have separate buddy lists…one for orch dorks and one for “regular people”.
  • People think you’re a Goth because you have so much black clothing.
  • You know the words to the choral version of The 1812 Overture.
  • You know that there is a choral version of The 1812 Overture.
  • You’ve decorated the inside of your case…with things that pertain to music.
  • You know what an Austrian 6th chord is.
  • You carry around a pocket music dictionary…and read it just for fun.
  • You’ve named your instrument.
  • You not only name your instrument, but its named after a composer.
  • The highlight of your New Year’s is the Mostly Mozart concert.
  • You follow along in the score when you listen to classical music.
  • You own scores.
  • You correct your friends when they call pieces “songs”.
  • You carry around a nail clipper.
  • You know how to pronounce Dohnanyi.
  • You have friends with screen names like Carlpebach and CadenzaV2.
  • You sing Beethoven/Tchaikovsky symphonies in parts for fun.
  • You have random spasms which cause you to play Copland’s Rodeo.
  • You see seating auditions as a social gathering.
  • You avoid gym volleyball to avoid hurting your fingers.
  • You can play the first and second violin parts of Tchaik 4 on cue.
  • You say ridiculous things like “Tchaik” and “Shosty”.
  • You ask for bows/rosin/mutes for Christmas…and then cry when you don’t get them.
  • You have a conniption fit when people clap between movements.
  • You know what a hemidemisemiquaver is.
  • You read program notes.
  • Someone asks you what car you drive, and you respond: “Kreisler”.
  • You start off conversations with things like, “The funniest thing happened last night during my 11 measures rest in the second movement of the Tchaikovsky…”
  • When you come to a rut in the conversation, you show off your perfect pitch skills by singing A 440 to break the tension.
  • The Shar catalog in the mail brightens your day.
  • You have Shar on speed dial.
  • You have a fit in choir when people don’t cut off at the right time.
  • You know Mozart’s full name.
  • You get a copy of BMG’s Encore Magazine twice a month.
  • You go nuts when you hear the school bell go off because you try to figure out what pitch it is.
  • You dance along with your “Dr. Beat”.
  • The A440 has gone off on your pocket metronome in the middle of English class.
  • You sing along with the microwave.
  • You have a compulsion to complete other people’s cell phone rings, and to do so out loud.
  • When the politicians mention DeLay on the news, you think “Dorothy” and wonder when she got into politics.
  • You find yourself counting rests when you’re driving and listening to music.
  • You refuse to take a class required for your major because it meets during your orchestra rehearsal.
  • You can’t keep a constant speed while driving because you’re tapping your foot.
  • You’re walking down a sidewalk, and you try to take “triplet” steps within the “duplet” cement squares, just to practice rhythm.
  • You’re on a dinner date, and you interrupt conversation by pointing at the ceiling, cocking your head to the background music, and saying, “This is Dvorak, we played this my junior year…”
  • … likewise for movie soundtracks.
  • You’ve said, “Flight of the Bumblebee is so cliche for movie soundtracks”.
  • You finally blast out the guys playing Hip-hop too loud down the hall with Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries on a sound system that they could only dream of having.
  • You have soundpost setters in your dorm room.
  • Your instrument cases take priority over books on your dorm room shelves.
  • When cleaning, you find violin strings in odd places and wonder how they got there…
  • When you have a violin calandar.
  • When your license plate says “vln vla”.
  • You have Christmas music stuck in your head before Thanksgiving cause you’re already rehearsing it.
  • Violining is a regualr word in your vocabulary.
  • You tell Heifetz jokes.

(This has been only slightly abbreviated from the original; if you’d like to see the entire list on, click here.)


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  1. I found this very funny! At school there is an on going argument about who is better; Orch Dorks or Band Geeks!

  2. OK…I admit it, I am an Orch Dork turned Opera Singer. Orch dorks are definitely better (sorry band geeks AND Opera Singers***especially opera singers!***) we are WAY more serious. Only because we HAVE to make ourselves better! By the way…I think you would like the title of my blog! You may want to click on my name! ***wink wink***
    Thanks for the fun read!

  3. Hi, Becky! Thanks for stopping by! You have a lovely voice. By the way, what instrument did you turn to singing from??

    I love your blog’s title – that’s really cool (especially ‘cuz, being an orch/chamber-dork, I know what it means!!) Hee hee…. 🙂

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