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Why Do I Need An Experienced Pianist?

When you are performing under pressure, such as in an exam, concert or audition, you want to feel secure that you have a reliable pianist supporting you.  This allows you to present yourself at your best and not be worrying that your pianist is not up to the task.  While a pianist¹s job is not to disguise your lack of preparation, an experienced pianist can certainly minimise the damage that mistakes and nerves can cause during performance.  During rehearsals, a good pianist will be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses and be able to anticipate where things might go amiss during the performance.  An experienced pianist will not collapse under pressure, and will support you during the performance, helping to keep you steady and in control.

Musical performance is a team effort. Good preparation together is essential so you are familiar with what is happening in the piano part and how it fits with your part so there are no surprises in the exam or performance. The amount of time you need with your pianist depends on how quickly you adapt to playing with the piano and what your teacher thinks you need to feel confident.  If you are rehearsing without your teacher, you can usually pick up valuable information from your pianist if they have lots of experience.

The level of difficulty of the piano part sometimes bears no resemblance to that of your instrument or voice.  You might have a simple part while the pianist is playing handfuls of notes for every one that you play! If the pianist has a difficult part, they are not charging you extra for the time they are practising on their own.  The pianist will always let you know their fee before they accept the job.  What you are getting in return is their time and experience, which is often many years and at an international level.

Vanessa Leong
Guild Member