My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

An overworked piano collaborator's want-ad

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Desperately wanted: OWPC* seeking someone clever and smart to come up with an algorithm to assist struggling piano collaborators with figuring out how much is too much and when to start saying "no."  Must keep in mind several important factors:

  1. Repertoire being requested (Twinkle, Twinkle vs...Franck's violin sonata)
  2. Whether or not the repertoire is new to collaborator or is being recycled
  3. Whether or not the collaborator wants to learn the repertoire in question
  4. How much music the piano collaborator is already having to juggle
  5. Person doing the requesting - last-minuter? rehearsal-hog on a regular basis? laid-back player? someone prone to illness and canceling? 
  6. What type of gig the request is for - recording session? debut recital at Carnegie Hall? playing at church? audition? lessons?  jury? competition which will make or break client's career?
  7. Whether or not the collaborator has any other roles beside that of collaborator - parent? teacher? spouse? caretaker of aging parent? marathon runner? running for congress?
  8. How much time the collaborator has to practice
  9. How insane the collaborator is
  10. How quickly the collaborator can learn music
  11. How good the collaborator is at faking and/or sightreading
  12. How much the collaborator enjoys working with the instrumentalist/singer in question
  13. How much of a softie the collaborator is
  14. How desperate the collaborator is for money
If smart enough and interested, please contact me...soon...before I say "yes" one more time!  

* OWPC = Overworked piano collaborator


  1. I wonder if you need an algorithm or one of those super-cool and usually hilarious flow charts…

  2. Ha ha, Thomasina. What a wonderful idea. I'll have to see if a flow chart (hilarious or not) is possible in this case. I sense a challenge needing an attempt.

    Thanks for the thought!


  3. Man, I would love to see an algorithm with this. I think you've got all the factors down, Erica! :)

    Though it's not an algorithm in the last year I've developed something that works for me: I work with who I want to work, on specific times & days I've set aside (98% of the time), on repertoire I'm interested in (whether new or old), and have come up with a maximum # of practicing time/rehearsal/concert dates I'm able to offer and try not to exceed that! Most of the time it works, give and take. lol. I spent too long as an insane/softie collaborator and have found my newer system way more enjoyable.

  4. Thank you, Nancy, for your input! I marvel at how you're able to stick to your guns and wish I would buckle down and do the same but alas, I keep saying yes as you are very well aware. Oh well. I'll keep working at it. At least I still do enjoy it.

    We'll see how I feel in another couple of years - ha!

    All the best to you and thanks for reading.