Finally - MODERN BALLET STUDIO MELODIES, VOLUME 7 has been recorded, mastered, listened through on playback (many many many times!) and is finally (at the time of writing) sat waiting fot the iTunes police people to check it out before they give it their seal of approval and release it worldwide. I never understand the timetable from hitting 'submit' and thene it going live - sometimes it takes merely 1 or 2 days and other times it can take 3 or 4 weeks.
After nearly 12 months @ Elmhurst School for Dance (where oh where does the time go) I've succeeded in setting up one of my big goals - a paid graduate fellowship scheme training pianists in the art of ballet accompaniment.
It's been a really busy few months at MBSM HQ. In September 2014 I started as head of musicians and music staff at Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham. It's been a long few weeks learning this new job but I'm really enjoying it. Around 7 weeks in I've not relocated to Birmingham which means I won't have the gruelling 5/6 hour journey every day too and from Brum. I'm now less then a 5 minute walk away from work which is good. Whilst working in Brum I'm still keeping up all my oter work.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been working on a summer school with teachers who I know as friends - however have never played for in the studio. This changed this week and after over a decade of dance accompaniment - I was asked to play a Tendu on a 3/4. Instantly my ears pricked up and I was thinking - ‘This is new’! As I couldn’t remember a time when a ballet instructor had asked me to play this particular exercise on 3/4.
After you play your warm up (in my case it tends to always be something with a little jazz lilt wether it’s in 3/4 or 4/4) you head straight into Plié. Traditionally and historically this is technically the first barre exercise and I believe you should set the tone for the class here and consistently try to inspire through informed and beautiful music choices.
Obviously, your warm up is the first exercise of class. Whether you're playing for free work classes or for daily company classes - it is my belief that you should choose your warm up repertoire extremely carefully - depending on the standard of dancers you are playing for. Of course - your choice should always be inspiring!!
After finding your albums last year, I have to say, I feel more inspired in my class planning. I've also enjoyed my own personal chuckles this last week at my students doing frappés to the South Park medley!