Why I Love Duets

Composing Duets

You've read articles before on why playing duets is important to the well-rounded musician. So many skills are developed when playing ensembles: listening, breathing, counting/rhythm and more. To me this natural development is a bonus in addition to the main purpose of playing with another person: to have FUN!

I love the challenge of composing a compelling duet with a theme; I often use imagery in the title, description and cover of each piece to help students realize the mood or energy it requires (along with other musical aspects). I encourage them to convey the spirit of that piece, or maybe tell a story with the music.

For example, Forgotten Flamingo shows a guitar, Flamenco dance fan and the colour red on the cover. The music is marked "with much expression". Students can strive to express the flamingo's sadness while also imitating a traditional Spanish guitar and dance style. The pedagogy that goes into teaching this piece is substantial, and the kids have lots of fun playing the "sad flamingo piece". (Plus, who doesn't like stomping and clapping at the piano?!)

Students from beginner to teen to adult can benefit from the learning opportunities that abound in duet playing, all while having a blast at the piano. It is one of my favourite types of music to write, and I'd love to share my duet collection with you. Click on the link to see 7 Duets you can add to your Studio Right Now. Thanks for reading!

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