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Pianists are music specialists, that’s why you hired them, so use this to your advantage (why buy a dog and bark yourself?). e.g.

  • “I want something like this…how do I ask for that another time?”
  • I’ve lost track of my counts, can you play the music for me while I go through the exercise in my head?
  • I think I may have asked for the wrong kind of music, can you play me something else and let me see if it works better?
  • I wanted a polonaise for this, but I can’t remember how they go, could you play me one?
  • What do you think would be better, two in or four in?

The more you ask for help and involve the pianist this way, the more likely it is that they’ll feel open to ask you questions about what you want, and that’s how great collaborations and friendships begin.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist