There are many things to consider when playing with piano. In this posting, I'd like to focus on personal interaction.
Issues arise in working with a pianist that don't often come up in private lessons or orchestral playing. Forming a real partnership and working on the music together instead of simply taking instruction from a conductor or teacher make this relationship different and, at times, challenging for a young person.
In thinking about this, I decided to speak with Randy and Liz Demio (a collaborative pianist at CIM) to draw on their experience in working with instrumentalists.
Here are some of their ideas:
- Be sure you're familiar with the working rules of your school's accompanying program. How many rehearsals are you allowed with your pianist? How do you communicate/apply to get a pianist to play for you? Where do you leave the piano part? Most schools have a set of rules or a student handbook that explains all this.
- When assigned a pianist, make contact well in advance of your recital/jury. These people are very busy and need lots of lead time to plan. Last-minute planning on your part can lead to a rush-job with your recital!
- Conduct as much of your communication as possible face-to-face. Do document communication using email, etc. in case of dispute, but talking in person is best.
- Use common courtesy when dealing with your pianist. This is a relationship you want to cultivate!
- If you find a good pianist, treat them like GOLD!! A great pianist can make you sound better than you really do! If treated well, they may be more amenable to granting special favors when needed (recording sessions for auditions, competitions, etc.).