Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Joy of Collaborative Music

I am so excited! This evening I'm rehearsing with my sister as we'll be playing together for the upcoming Sunday service.

My little sister's forte is french horn, although she played piano for many years as well. We've collaborated innumerable times over the years as a piano duo and as a piano/horn duo. Either way we always have tons of fun and grow as musicians through every experience.

This is absolutely, without a doubt, my favorite aspect of being a musician. The opportunity to create with other musicians, learn from each other, and have fun at the same time is so much more worthwhile to me (and less scary ;) ) than solo performing. That's not to say I don't enjoy a solo performance once in a while, but my true love is collaborative music.

Looking back on my past, it's easy to see just where this love stems from. Accompanying my sister and brother was a part of my musical experience growing up- whenever they had a recital or a performance of any kind I was always called on to accompany them. Since my sister and I took from the same piano instructor, we were often paired together for duets.

To celebrate my love of collaborative music, I even featured three collaborative works in my senior recital. I started the program with a Mozart 2-piano Sonata, played a movement from a horn Sonata with my sister midway through the program, and finished the program with a movement from my favorite piano Concerto. It was truly an evening that celebrated all kinds of music!

Collaborative music is an important part of any musician's experience, no matter what their age or skill level. I love accompanying my students in their lessons and for recitals, but I get even more excited when they can participate in collaborative efforts with their peers and siblings, just as I did as a child.

Now that we're adults, it's so rewarding that my sister and I can still make music together and celebrate this shared love of ours that has been so much a part of our lives.


  1. I agree- collaborative music is so much fun! I absolutely love playing duets with my husband, and I don't get nearly as nervous playing with others as I do when playing alone...I'm not sure why, since there could actually be more margin for error in duets...:0)
    Hope your music goes well!

  2. I agree with your insights on collaborative endeavors. Your venture sounds fun and thanks for sharing your joy.

  3. I'll have to post a follow-up on Sunday ;) I think things are going to go great!

    There IS something about playing together that seems to boost confidence. I'm not quite sure why that is, but whatever the reason it makes playing together even more of a joy for me.

  4. Post-performance commentary as promised :)

    Sunday morning was so much fun! We got together early to rehearse again, then headed to church. The acoustics in the sanctuary lend themselves perfectly to brass instruments, and the music sounded heavenly. It was a joy to play with my sister. We ended with a rousing arrangement of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"- what a great way to celebrate the Independence Day weekend.