Music is amazing..
I’ve travelled and played piano in 5 different countries, on grand stages, small halls and dimly lit lounges and do you know what all those experiences had in common? People enjoying the music. Like my grandpa used to say for fun, “Hey! You can play in German!” lol
Music is life.
Music brings joy.
Music exudes and builds emotions.
Music propels movement.
Music can drive and inspire a dancer who’s had a bad day.
Today I want to discuss STRONG music....
When it comes to working with a pianist instead of recorded music, there are a couple of things you need to realize and integrate!
What you need to know, before I go any further, is that my beginner days of accompanying ballet weren't exactly the easiest. I started playing for a professional school before ever having been to a ballet or played for a recreational class, even. It was scary. I cried. Legit. A lot! So,...
Imagine you get to drive a Ferrari... 30 kms an hour. Gag, right? Or how about a farm tractor with a seeder on the back, as fast as it will go on the autobahn? Either situation sounds awful, right? It's a matter of each vehicle having an essential value and sweet spot that they're intended for and using them in other ways just makes no sense and doesn't work well; music is no different.
Each of the music types that are commonly used in ballet class...
Let me explain.
Let’s talk about glissades for a second. Glissades are a travelling step. They’re quick and close to the ground. Do you want to encourage your dancers to have high glissades? No! The coordination is fast and small. In fact if you have this...
Congratulations! You made it! What a year, eh? You and I both know that many things were dropped from regular practice in some of your dancers' approach to ballet class. They could be summed up in the word ‘Consistency’ I think.
Consistency in attendance. (Ballet class on zoom sucks! Really any education for a child on zoom sucks. Who’s with me on that?!)
Consistency in using their turnout (when was the last time you got to actually activate a child’s turnout muscles?)
Yes! Yes! and YES!!!
You NEED to know what they are so you can be clear to your musicians, your dancers and yourself when you're marking! Your total awareness and ability to express these music qualities will take your teaching to a WHOLE new level!
This is the speed of music you need. When...
Petit Allegro.. A joy. A pain. Dreaded. Loved. Hard. Easy!
"It's just jumping"
"Why can't they be on the music?"
"I'm so sick of using a 2/4 for sautes"
"What else can I use?"
So, when it comes to petit allegro, you usually have 2 purposes. 1) Warm up their achilles and 2) wake up your students' brains and feet!
Generally warm up allegro should be a combination of plies, rises and actual sautes. With that in mind.. what kind of music works for that? What kind of music supports your various saute...
Do YOU know how to teach music to your dancers? Why should you?
How do you do that anyway?
Good questions that deserve an answer!
Do you know how to teach music? I have no idea, but you'll have a solid idea how after reading this blog post!
Why should you teach music to your dancers? Well, that's like asking why a home cook should learn the attributes of different cooking ingredients. If you know that you can thicken a sauce with corn starch (keeping the sauce more transparent looking) or with flour...
I’m about to say some thing that might sting a little… Like salt on a wound. Ready? It comes from a place of love and understanding so please bear with me, ok?
If you’re a ballet teacher who works with pianists/musicians and your pianist's tempos are always wrong, no matter who the pianist is.. it's probably the other adult in the room. (Don't shoot the messenger just yet.. bear with me!) I promise this is going somewhere good!
To avoid having this constant tempo frustration in...
You know how sometimes you meet someone and immediately you think..
"wow, I just love this person.. I think we could be best friends! They're amazing! I could spend hours with them and never get tired of them.. They're so easy to hang out with because they're _________ (You fill in the blank!)."
Fast forward a few weeks and suddenly that very character trait that drew you to them like butter to popcorn or rum to coke is driving you bonkers.. like being stuck behind a slow driver when you're late!...
Hey! Great to see you here! Listen, if you're a ballet teacher who loves to learn about music in relation to ballet classes, you're in the right place! Sign up to get a free recording and stay in the loop with monthly newsletters and alerts about new blog posts.