For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working on a summer school with teachers who I know as friends - however have never played for in the studio. This changed this week and after over a decade of dance accompaniment - I was asked to play a Tendu on a 3/4. Instantly my ears pricked up and I was thinking - ‘This is new’! As I couldn’t remember a time when a ballet instructor had asked me to play this particular exercise on 3/4.
After you play your warm up (in my case it tends to always be something with a little jazz lilt wether it’s in 3/4 or 4/4) you head straight into Plié. Traditionally and historically this is technically the first barre exercise and I believe you should set the tone for the class here and consistently try to inspire through informed and beautiful music choices.
Obviously, your warm up is the first exercise of class. Whether you're playing for free work classes or for daily company classes - it is my belief that you should choose your warm up repertoire extremely carefully - depending on the standard of dancers you are playing for. Of course - your choice should always be inspiring!!
Every week we give away one free ballet track to download for 24 hours only. In addition to this I am going to be producing blog articles and downloads for ballet teachers and pianists.
These will include advice for pianists on phrasing, pedaling, melodies for certain exercises etc along with sheet music, some of which will be transcribed from CD releases and will be available to download for free. There will also be advice on students musicality, developing students understanding of music through the use of time signature, unnatural phrasing and physicalising musicality.