Goals and Purpose

The purpose of Morris’s accompanying policies is twofold:

  1. To provide pianistic support for students in Individual Performance Studies who require pianists;
  2. To provide opportunities for Piano Majors and Piano Minors to acquire and enhance collaborative piano skills.
    • Piano Majors are required to take 4 semesters of MUS 1050 toward achieving piano proficiency;
    • Piano Minors have the option of taking up to 4 semesters of MUS 1050 toward achieving piano proficiency.

Assigning Accompanists/Deadlines

  • There are a limited number of accompanists available.
  • Accompanists are assigned based on a number of variables, including difficulty of the repertoire and priority of the request. Prioritization is as follows:
    1. Recitals/Senior Projects
    2. Juries
    3. Mixed Recitals and Competitions (e.g., NATS)
    4. Finals
  • You will be more likely to secure an accompanist by completing the Accompanist Request Form and returning it to Prof. Ann DuHamel by the deadline: Friday of the 3rd week of classes at 5 p.m. If you are performing a spring semester recital, return this form fall semester prior to the recital.
  • A student accompanist cannot be guaranteed if the form is not turned in by the deadline.
  • Every effort will be made to match pianists to the demands of the repertoire. Assignments are made after all on-time Accompanist Request Forms have been received.


Responsibilities of vocalists/instrumentalists

  • Complete the Accompanist Request Form in conjunction with your studio teacher and return it to Prof. DuHamel by the deadline.
  • Include/attach originals or readable photocopies of the piano parts with your request.
    • Check to see that all notes (including in bass clef) are on any photocopied page.
    • If music is not included, you may not receive an accompanist assignment until it is submitted.
  • Notify immediately both Prof. DuHamel and your accompanist if there are any changes in repertoire.
  • All music must be received by the accompanist at least 2 weeks before the first rehearsal.
  • Your accompanist may refuse any music that is given with less than 4 weeks to performance.
  • Schedule rehearsals with your accompanist; rehearsals should be scheduled at least 1 week in advance.
  • Check any recital, hearing, jury, competition, or other performance dates with your accompanist before scheduling it.
  • Students performing in recitals, juries, mixed recitals, or NATS should plan to attend MUS 1050: Accompanying workshop (weekly, Thursday, 6 p.m., HFA Recital Hall), in the weeks leading up to the performance. The schedule for the semester will be posted no later than the 4th week of classes. Rehearse with your accompanist at least twice before bringing pieces to workshop.
  • See below for suggested payment schedule.

Responsibilities of pianists

  • You are expected to show up prepared for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals.
  • Respond to email and other communication with collaborators, their professors, and Professor DuHamel in a professional and timely manner. Clear and prompt communication about rehearsals, repertoire, performances, etc. is essential and is necessary on everyone’s part. Always strive to solve any communication issues with collaborators first. If that doesn’t work, please contact professors to help.
  • Prepare well and consistently for all collaborative engagements (lessons, rehearsals, and performances). Do not sight read in rehearsal or lessons. Irresponsibility in attendance, preparedness, and performance will result in the forfeiture of rights to be paid or receive a passing grade.
    • See below for rehearsal etiquette.
  • Check with studio instructors of students you are accompanying to see if they have specific requests of you.
  • Keep track of the amount of hours/lessons/rehearsals. Agree with your collaborators beforehand on rehearsal dates and times.
    • Maintaining a dedicated log for tracking each person’s music, rehearsals, lessons, hours, and payment is effective.
  • You have the right to refuse to play any music that is given to you with less than 4 weeks to learn it.
  • Notify your collaborators immediately if there are any issues.

Allocation of Hours/Remuneration

Suggested costs for student accompanists are included here.

  • Students in MUS 1050/1201/3201 are receiving both grade and credit for these courses, meaning the rates are not as high as what professional collaborative pianists charge.
  • Typically at UMM, accompanists receive $75 for ‘basic’ services. This has been updated in Fall 2012 to include 10 half-hour services:
    • 4 half-hour lessons
    • 6 half-hour rehearsals; at least 2 rehearsals should occur before the first lesson
      • MUS 1050, Accompanying workshop, does NOT count as a rehearsal
    • The final
    • One of these basic services may be used to play for a mixed recital. You must have at least 2 lessons with the studio teacher before a mixed recital.
  • Additional fees may be charged for other events, such as:
    • Additional rehearsals, including dress rehearsals ($15/hour; prorated accordingly)
    • NATS performance ($25 for audition)
    • Juries or half recital ($35)
    • Full recital ($60)
  • Payment: ½ of the total payment is due at the first rehearsal; ½ due prior to the start of the event (jury, recital, etc.)
  • Non-student accompanists (e.g., professionals in the community) set their own rates. Vocalists and instrumentalists who contract with them are responsible for meeting their terms.

Rehersal Etiquette

Responsibilities of vocalists/instrumentalists

  • Show up on time for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals. If you need to change a rehearsal or lesson time, contact your pianist immediately.
  • Be prepared for your rehearsals. You should know your notes, rhythms, and words (if applicable). Do not expect your pianist to teach you your part.
  • Know your translation (by the first rehearsal) if applicable. Give your pianist the translation by week 5. A great resource is:
  • Plan to have all repertoire performance ready at least three weeks before the event.

Responsibilities of pianists

  • Accompanists are always expected to act in a professional manner; this includes learning the music in a timely manner and responding to all communication re: MUS 1050.
  • Show up on time for all scheduled lessons and rehearsals.
  • Schedule for learning music:
    • 1st rehearsal:
      • have all correct notes and rhythms learned;
      • be able to play at a steady tempo from beginning to end;
      • during rehearsal find out locations of all breath marks;
      • have all photocopies secured in a black binder.
    • 2nd rehearsal:
      • be at or closer to the goal tempo.
    • 3rd rehearsal:
      • be able to summarize the translation (if applicable) and understand how the piano part contributes to the musical storytelling;
      • be able to play at tempo.
    • 4th rehearsal:
      • be able to follow all musical directives in the score;
      • be able to follow your musical partner.
    • All repertoire must be performance ready at least three weeks before the event.

Performance Ettiquette for Accompanists

  • Dress properly for performances. All-black dress clothes are always safe. If you wear a dress or a skirt, make sure it covers your knees when you sit down, and wear hose or tights – no bare legs on stage.
  • Be sure to wear shoes that are thin-soled for pedaling. Practice walking on and off stage in your performance shoes at the dress rehearsal.
  • Adjust your own bench height if needed when you walk out onto stage.
  • Carry your own binder on to the stage. If you are using photocopies, they must be in a black binder. Do not use loose copies on stage.
  • Bow with the performer at the beginning and at the end of the performance. Practice this during your dress rehearsal. The soloist will walk on and off first.
  • If you need a page turner for a performance, you are responsible for setting this up. Have your page turner at the dress rehearsal. The page turner walks on and off after the pianist. It is acceptable for the page turner to bring the black binder off stage after the performance.