Monday, September 16, 2013

Ensembles are fun!

On August 28th my friend and colleague Irene and I attended a fun workshop at Debra Wanless Music Studio called Ensemble Fun.  Irene and I have been playing together for a couple years; we try and make an effort to get together regularly, and are always working on something new and challenging.

I have loved playing duets, trios, duos, and double duos since I was a kid.  I have only great memories of ensembles: playing ridiculously fun music together and laughing a whole lot.  The bonus is that ensemble playing is good for musicians!

At Debra's workshop we learned about the history of piano ensemble, choosing ensemble partners, rehearsal tips and of course repertoire.  We read our way through tons of new Canadian ensemble music, then got to go shopping at the end.  What a fun morning!

I have been working with a special pair of students in my studio who found fun in ensemble playing last year.  These girls did SUCH a fantastic job playing a Debra Wanless duo called A Pair of Pirates at the Kiwanis Music Festival.  They also had tons of fun playing Cuckoo Clock at our year end recital (also by Debra).  We are already hard at work on a new duet!
~ Jennifer

“Duet playing should form an integral part of the development of all young pianists. Personal development, reduction of performance anxiety and skills such as listening, rhythmic stability and sight-reading are but a few components that can be improved through duet playing. Piano playing is mostly a lonely activity and one of the best ways to counteract this isolation is to become involved in collaborative musicianship through duet playing.”
…Gisela Waldtraut Scriba The piano duet as teaching medium: an overview and selective syllabus for the beginner pianist. University of Pretoria. 2010

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