I spent the last couple of weeks selecting pieces for the upcoming duet recital for the studio. I first went through about 20 duet books and selected potential pieces for my students. Then I went through the list of all my students and started putting them in pairs (each student gets two duets with two different people), keeping their levels, their learning styles and preferences, their strengths, weaknesses and temperaments in mind. Then I went through all the duet selections with the list of the pairs and started assigning the pieces to each pair, shifting and adjusting as needed.
Why are we doing a duet recital? Here are some reasons:
- When you play a duet, you have to absolutely keep the rhythm precise and sharp. When playing a solo, missing a beat here or having an extra beat there can be glossed over. However, when you have to synchronize your playing with someone else, you can’t go around the rhythm thing.
- Duets prepare students for ensemble playing (for example, playing with a band, an orchestra or a small ensemble) and accompanying (singers, instrumentalists and choirs).
- Duets help students to learn musicality from the other person they’re playing with.
- More advanced player of the duet pair can learn leadership by coaching and supporting the less advanced player.
- Duets (when played well) can sound amazing! Students can make some awesome music that they would not have been able to alone.
Duets can install different kind of fun and joy in music making especially for piano player who most of the time practice and perform alone.