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.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The power of a few words of thanks to a piano collaborator

© Ariwasabi -
I'm not going to say much in this post because I don't want to detract from the words I'm about to share.  

This afternoon I finished practicing, opened my computer and found an e-mail in my inbox from a young saxophonist I accompany with the subject line, "The Glazunov."  I opened up my calendar first, thinking this would be a rehearsal request, returned to my e-mail to start reading and my heart skipped a beat...or two.  Here is what I read:
"I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to the orchestral version of the Glazunouv [saxophone concerto] quite a bit over the last week or so, and I have a renewed appreciation of everything that you do as an accompanist. The sheer number of different parts that you have to cover and the orchestration in them which you emulate is absolutely crazy and a true testament to your musicianship.   I am excited to give it another shot the next time that we play together."
 I am grateful for the people that I accompany and collaborate with and I am regularly blessed with not only shared music with others but also with words of thanks and appreciation.  This e-mail serves as yet another example of why I do what I do and it also gives me an opportunity to let folks in on an important truth - genuine appreciation for what we accompanists and collaborators do means the world to us.  Our job is largely about other people so to know that we truly are seen as part of the equation can be a gift that keeps giving from one performance to another.

So go ahead...fill up your collaborator's inbox with some appreciation.  It will be a welcome change of pace to all those rehearsal requests that we get.


  1. I would like to thank you, then, for your blog which I have followed for some time. I love your joyful and optimistic approach to the art of collaboration, and always enjoy your posts.


    1. Jennet,
      First of all, I am so glad to meet you and to be led to your own blog and website! I just read one of your posts about practicing, the one where you conquered the Serenade from Pulcinella (one of my favorite melodies of all time!) - amazing to me how reading about effective practicing never fails to make me want to whoop and holler! And I love your approach to music making - makes me want to play some music with you one of these days.

      Second, thank you so much for your kind words about the blog. I am truly honored to hear that. I look forward to further conversation and to following your blog.

      All the best to you,