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How to Treat Your Pianist

June 8, 2011

This video gave me a much needed laugh.

I have run into the problems she describes plenty of times.  People ask me to play the piano for something and they end up providing a keyboard that doesn’t have a pedal, a stand for the music, weighted keys, or even all 88 keys.  That’s an extremely frustrating situation to be in.

The majority of the time people give me copies of the sheet music, the bottom is cut off.  They tend to look at the words they’re singing and declare it a good copy until I point out that I can’t see what I’m supposed to play with my left hand.

I don’t really care if people call me an accompanist, but I learned some people do, apparently.

I don’t like music in a binder.  That’s more page turning.  I like to tape it together to make long sheets I can pull away.

One thing she didn’t mention:

Make sure your pianist has enough light to see the music.  I had the most hilarious incident when this woman tried to make me play in the dark.  She was going for a certain atmosphere and ended up aiming a few white Christmas lights at my music when I let her know I couldn’t see in the pitch black.

What about you other pianists?  What special experiences have you had?


4 Comments leave one →
  1. SandySays1 permalink
    June 8, 2011 12:59 pm

    I don’t play piano. the banjos more my thing. BUT… That wonderful video (LOL) reminds me of some problems I’ve had.
    * Hunting where there’s no ducks – try retrieving an invisible bird.
    * Have at least one person on the trip that knows which end of the shotgun is the angry one. (And a least one that can hit the ducks if they’re forced to drag a parachute to slow them down.)
    * The “conductor” segment reminded me of some of the hand signals my humans friends use to get me to retrieve. I wish my paw was a little more flexible, I’d shoot my own kind of bird at them.
    * And I commiserate with the labeling. I’m not a “pooch,” a “dawg,” a “puppy,” a “retriever,” – – – I’m a Golden Retriever!

    • June 8, 2011 1:33 pm

      And what an amazing Golden Retriever you are! Sandy, you are the first dog to post on my blog. Welcome! :-D

  2. June 9, 2011 5:09 am

    Haa, someone else feels the way I do, that’s comforting :) Here are the things that commonly happen to me:

    1. People ask me to play a piece with arpeggios on the organ. No comment…
    2. They say “a bad tradesman blames his tools” when I complain about the $10 Casio keyboard they ask me to play on to accompany someone at a musical fireside. They think I’m being pedantic when I talk about weighted keys and a sustain pedal…
    3. People give me the sheet music a couple of days before a major performance, and expect me to play it flawlessly at the first rehearsal.
    4. A recent one: asked to play at a baptism, I arrive just on time and sit at the organ, I get given a program (which I hadn’t had a chance to sight earlier), and realise that I don’t have the primary song book from which the opening song is taken. Everyone looks at me expectantly…. Once again I had to play the best I could from what I remembered :)

    Now I don’t care if people call me accompanist, but I used the same standard I would ask that the singer also be called an accompanist. After all, we are accompanying each other, aren’t we?

  3. June 9, 2011 7:13 am

    Hahahahahaha!!!! I can only imagine how beautiful arpeggios sound on the organ. Awesome.

    I had a woman expect me to play flawlessly right after giving me the sheet music. She was singing that evening and it was a very last minute request.

    What? You needed a Primary songbook and no one thought of it?

    Another one I love is that they completely forget to get a pianist for baptisms and ask me the day of. I have had the same people do that repeatedly. Once I showed up to watch a baptism and they realized they didn’t have a pianist. They’re lucky I was there, because there weren’t any other pianists.

    When my brother asks me to accompany him, he does it by telling me, “I’m going to do you a favor. I’m going to accompany your piano playing.” :-D

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