Most instrumental students and vocal students (with the possible exception of guitar and piano students) will require an accompanist to perform. In most cases this will involve the piano but may also include electronic accompaniment such as backing tracks.
As accompaniment requires additional and significant expertise from a pianist or arranger, there are additional costs for this service. The RCM has developed a pricing structure to keep accompaniment costs to a minimum and yet to ensure professional accompanists are remunerated proportionate to the skills and time required to prepare and rehearse with an instrumental or vocal student.
Accompaniment requires the skills of an experienced and reliable musician. Accompanists need to be able to learn the student’s music and be prepared and able to perform alongside the student at student recitals, examinations and auditions. Accompanists often have to prepare lots of music very quickly and need to be able to have music performance ready with the student in one or two rehearsals.
The success of the student’s performance may be dependent upon the capacity of the accompanist to support musically and to be capable of performing at a professional standard. Some things to remember when choosing an accompanist:
- Accompaniment parts are often significantly technically challenging and need to be practiced. It is important that you provide your accompanist with the music well in advance of the performance or examination so the music can be prepared and rehearsed.
- Accompaniment is a specialised skill and should be sourced from a professional musician where possible.
- The accompanist must know how to follow and support the student during performance despite the difficulty of his or her own music. Accompanists often “save” students during performance without the student even being aware of a problem.
- Your choice of accompanist should reflect the standard required by the instrumental or vocal repertoire being performed. Please discuss accompanist options with your teacher.
The RCM has a number of professionally trained and qualified accompanists covering every level from beginner to professional standards. If you are unsure how to choose an accompanist ask your RCM teacher or contact the Head of Keyboard at the RCM on 6925 3522. For up-to-date list of accompanists and accompaniment rates please see the Fees Tab on the RCM’s website Schedule of Fees.