Playing duets provides young piano students the opportunity to make music and memories with other musicians. Learning to play the piano often requires that students practice and perform individually. While this is an important skill, part of the fun of learning something new is in sharing that experience with others. When students learn duets, they get to interact with other musicians in this way.
3 Benefits of Duet Playing
Students learn to work as a team with their duet partner. They must come together to decide what piece to learn, the tempo, and the dynamics. They must problem-solve together as they rehearse. Students get to discuss aspects of their music, listening to each other and giving feedback as they play together. Through these discussions, students become better musicians.
Performing duets can help lessen performance anxiety because students get to go on stage to perform with a friend. As a result, a duet performance can seem more fun and less intimidating than a solo performance. The comfortability that builds on stage, as well as the enjoyment of sharing their music with their duet partner, transfers to solo performances and strengthens the confidence of young pianists.
Playing with another student gives accountability for practice. Students realize they must know their part well in order to effectively play with someone else. As students practice and perform together, they see the positive results of their teamwork. The joy of giving a successful duet performance makes students excited to work on future piano pieces as well as opens up a new category of piano music for them to explore.
3 Things to Consider When Playing Piano Duets
Although playing duets is a ton of fun, it’s still important to consider several factors that can affect the overall performance. Let’s dive into what we consider to be the most important things to look out for.
Starting The Piece Together
Piano duets are always better when the piece actually starts together! Too often, duet partners struggle with this and sometimes a shaky start can really alter the performance. A good way to ensure both pianists start on time is to:
1. Make eye contact
2. Breathe together (rising and dropping the body helps)
3. Choosing a leader to give the cue
In addition to those points, choosing a good starting tempo is essential. You never want both pianists to go at their own speed, nor do you want either one to feel uncomfortable. Taking care of these small elements and starting the piece together can go a long way in a successful performance of any duet piece!
Spacing of the Pianists
Sitting close to your duet partner may seem logical, but in reality, it can cause problems. Proper spacing doesn’t come down just to how close you sit, but also the placement of your hands.
Be sure to map the piece out and figure out where some of the trickier spots are. Are there spots where you have to cross one another? Does one pianist need to lower their angle while another raises theirs?
These are all things you should mark in the music beforehand, and that way you can be ready for it before it comes. Once things get moving quickly in a duet, there isn’t much time to try to figure this out on the spot. It must be rehearsed!
Agreeing On Musical Elements
One of the final things you should do is agree on the musical elements on the piece; both written and unwritten. Both pianists should adhere to the score to convey the composers’ markings. You should also try to capture the mood appropriately. Because two pianists are involved, one might have a different idea of a ‘piano’ or ‘forte’ dynamic than the other. This is the fun part where you get to find common ground with your partner. Articulations also come into play as well as the overall tempo of the work.
Playing duets can be a ton of fun. It comes down to finding a good partner who is open to ideas; and of course you must be as well. Finding music that works to both pianists’ strengths is essential. At the end of the day, have fun with it and see what you can create! Select best piano lessons training academy for your children.