The incorporation of  a live accompanist, whether it be the classical pianist in ballet class or the sound of live drummers in modern or African class can change the dynamics of your studio curriculum. There is nothing more enlivening than to hear live music start a class and can change the interaction your dancers have with you and the musician while sharpening their focus on the movement you are giving as well as their sense of musicality. In addition, the embedded lesson of dancers learning how to work with a musician and see how dance teachers and musicians speak to each other is a wonderful way for dancers to learn about this very important and essential communicative skill with fellow artists. Obviously, an extra expense which not every studio can afford on a weekly basis for all classes, there are ways you can give your students the experience of a live accompanist without breaking the studio’s budget.

 

 

  • ! Think about solely using accompanist for company/advanced classes while making it a special treat once a month for other classes. This will give all the dancers the experience of what it’s like to work with live musicians, while also inspiring those dancers to progress to the next level so they can have live accompanists in class every week.

  • ! Use an accompanist once a month, maybe at the beginning of each month to add a little spark of “newness” into the classes.

  • ! Advertise in the paper or contact local retirement homes, etc, for a retired musician looking to donate their time.

  • ! Contact your local university to search music majors who might want the experience of what it’s like to work with dancers in exchange for school credit, etc.

  • ! Contact local clubs, student hangouts, restaurants, regional theaters, etc, where up and coming musicians might be looking for part-time work and willing to work and be paid with smaller wages.

  • ! Ask parents and your studio community if there are any musicians among your families who would like to be class accompanists in exchange for help with class tuition, etc.

     

  • Think about what it was like for you when you walked into your first dance class and had a live musician. I know for me, it changed the way I walked into class, enhanced the way I danced, the way I looked at the musician-dancer dynamic and how I felt movement. A cost to consider for sure, with a little leg-work I guarantee you will come with musicians in your community who would love to take part in your classes and share the gift of live music!

  • See you in the dance studio!

  • Jessie

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