Playing with your students is vital. There are so many benefits. Duet playing helps your student:
- Develop good rhythm
- Experience the concept of balance
- Feel important
- Make big, impressive sounds
- Learn by doing
Duet playing is like any other kind of playing. If you're playing with a great tennis player, you become a better tennis player. If you want to get better, play with people who are more skilled!
In this video, I'm improvising an accompaniment for Benjamin as he plays Lavenders Blue from the Piano Town Level One Performance Book. (I'm grateful for all that time I experimented and didn't play what was on the page when I was young. It makes it easier for me to play now when there's nothing on the page at all. Like when I want to improvise a simple accompaniment for a beginning piece.)
Each time I play Lavenders Blue with a student, they want to play it over and over. There is something so sweet and gentle about the melody. When it's fleshed out with interesting harmonies it becomes a truly moving piece.
At this lesson we were working on three things:
- Spreading out the eighth notes so they didn't get jumbled together
- Shaping the phrases with dynamics
- Slowing down a little at the end
Enjoy this sweet boy.
Here's another post about Benjamin.
Another example of playing a sophisticated duet with a simple tune comes from Elissa Milne's beautiful accompaniment for this familiar melody:
This accompaniment (with a few flourishes from me) appears in Elissa's P Plate Piano Series. (Unfortunately only available in Australia.