Friday, February 20, 2009

Helping Your Helper?

On a recent search for more collaborative pianist-related stuff, this interesting resource turned up in Google Book Search--a short section of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Singing on how to work with a pianist, entitled Helping Your Helper: Working with an Accompanist. In spite of the title, which would probably offend most pianists working in the collaborative arts these days, the three paragraphs on the subject are mostly useful. Here is an excerpt, with my commentary in square parentheses:
When you find a wonderful accompanist, treat them like royalty [Agreed]. Meet and try to exceed their requests for monetary compensation, if you can [Hint: they like chocolate. Expensive chocolate]. Acknowledge them after a performance with a simple and discreet nod or hand gesture [I disagree. These days it's best to coordinate bows]. Don't assume that practice time with them comes free [Amen]. And when it comes to practice time, don't expect the accompanist to teach you the song; you should have a clear concept of delivery and style beforehand and should be able to communicate all that to the accompanist before you start to work on a number [Agreed, with one addition--we have ideas too and enjoy dialogue rather than orders].

What are your thoughts on the three paragraphs of this section of the book?

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more. Where would we singers be without fabulous collaborators? They are truly royal and should be respected for it. :)