Tag Archives: 100 tips for working with ballet pianists

The mysterious case of the Lyrical Waltz

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I’ve just had an email from a teacher, asking me what I understand by the term “Lyrical Waltz.” Short answer, I don’t understand anything by it, but the long answer is that I’m rather fascinated by how a term like this can … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious pianist #26: Same or different music on the other side?

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Although the “anxious ballet pianist” series is officially over, I’m adding one more post now, because I realised today that after thirty years of playing for class, I still often ask myself the same question:¬†shall I play the¬†same or different … Continue reading

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Ballet classes and dance calling

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I’ve had two conversations with people who play for ceilidhs which have made me think that there’s much more in common between dance calling and teaching a ballet class than we’d like to think.  And now I’ve found a website … Continue reading

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100 tips for working with ballet pianists #32: Check your pianist is ready

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Glance over to your pianist just before you say ‘and…’ to check that they are ready to play, especially if they are reading from printed music. On the other hand, if experience shows that your pianist is usually ready before … Continue reading Continue reading

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100 tips for working with ballet pianists #31: Be accurate about the tempo you want

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If you’re marking an exercise for dancers, it can be tempting to ‘mark’ the tempo to the pianist as well – but this is an impossibility: giving a tempo is meaningless unless it’s the one you actually want. It only … Continue reading Continue reading

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100 tips for working with ballet pianists #30 Use counts, not bars

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When you’re marking an exercise for a pianist, speak in terms of counts rather than bars, particularly with introductions (e.g. say ‘x counts in’, rather than ‘x bars in’). Unless you are trying to work out the mathematical correspondences between … Continue reading Continue reading

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