Accompanying your pupils or other musicians can be a daunting experience, especially if it's not something you take part in regularly. Below are some top tips we've written to help you next time you are facing an accompaniment challenge!

  1. Prepare the music in advance for any awkward page turns or repeats. 
  2. Aim to provide firm rhythmic support. Positive cuing for entries if needed. 
  3. Follow the soloists’ musical line visually as much as possible. 
  4. Be alert to the soloist rushing/slowing/setting unsuitable tempi. 
  5. Try to be a clear presence in the overall texture whilst being careful not to overpower. 
  6. Contribute positively to musical content, e.g. articulation, dynamics etc. even if the soloist doesn’t. 
  7. Retain a confident, positive outlook whatever you’re actually feeling! 
  8. Playing all the notes is neither necessary or required. 
  9. A skeleton version, leaving out inner notes of chords, octaves etc is totally acceptable. 
  10. On leaving after the pieces in an exam or audition, say something positive to the candidate and look encouraging! 

Feel free to keep a copy of this checklist.

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Last modified: Wednesday, 28 June 2023, 9:27 AM