Piano in Steinway Hall

Accompanist Policies

Accompanist Policy FAQs for Music Students

Please refer to Covid-19 Spring 2021 Restart FAQs regarding face coverings

Montclair State University will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear cloth face coverings in all public and shared spaces and whenever it is difficult to maintain a minimum of 6 feet between people. Some limited exceptions will be permitted as described below. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through small droplets that are exhaled. A person might be infected and not know it. By wearing a face covering, a person is helping to protect every other person with whom they come in contact. We are all in this together and need to help our entire community be as safe as possible.


Will an accompanist be available to work with me?

Professional staff accompanists and piano students are available for masterclass performances, Wednesday mid-day recitals, degree recitals, juries, and for voice and choral conducting lessons. At the beginning of each semester, you should discuss with your studio professor your accompanist needs for the entire semester. Your studio professor will take care of making arrangements for an accompanist.

 

Will the accompanist already have all the necessary music?

No. Music scores must be given to the pianist no later than four weeks before any performance.

 

How many hours will my accompanist work with me?

The university pays for a limited number of rehearsal hours for each kind of performance, as follows:

Degree recital…………………………….. 10 hours
Rehearsals = 4 hours
Dress rehearsal = 2 hours
Recital = 4 hours

Performance Practicum……………… 2 hours
Rehearsal = 1 hour
Practicum = 1 hour

Wednesday mid-day recital………… 3-5 hours
Rehearsal = 3 hours (but 1 hour for vocalists*)
Recital = 2 hours

Guest Masterclass, Special Nights. 5-7 hours
Rehearsal = 3 hours (but 1 hour for vocalists*)
Recital = 4 hours

Juries…………………………………………. 1-6 hours
Rehearsal for vln/vla/cello = 5 hours
Rehearsal for contrabass = 3 hours
Rehearsal for woodwind/brass = 3 hours
Rehearsal for vocalists = none*
Jury = 1 hour

*Are vocalists being shortchanged? No! Unlike all other students, vocalists have weekly lessons with their accompanists.

 

Do I need to pay any special fee for a degree recital?

No. See the hours available in the section above. Students must pay accompanists privately for any time beyond the maximum number of rehearsal hours shown above.

 

May I use an accompanist for extra-curricular events such as competitions, non-degree recitals, or off-campus recitals?

You may make private arrangements, but you must pay the accompanist to work with you. The University will not pay for accompanists for these events or for rehearsals for such events. Be professional, and make all financial arrangements clear from the start. It is always a good idea to make a simple written contract with your accompanist stating hourly rate and number of hours planned. Make no assumptions when money is involved.

 

Are there guidelines concerning cancellations and lateness?

Yes. If a student needs to cancel an appointment with the pianist, or if the pianist must cancel an appointment with the student, he or she must give at least twenty hours notice. Furthermore, if one of you is late, he or she cannot expect the other to wait beyond twelve minutes.

 

Special Notes to Piano Accompanists

Payment

During the first few weeks of each semester, the Accompanist Coordinator and the Cali School Secretary will estimate the number of billable hours that you will be paid. This estimate is based on weekly studio work plus the anticipated hours for recitals, rehearsals, etc. Toward the end of each semester, it is your responsibility to make the small corrections to the original estimate. Every accompanist is requested to keep a personal notebook to maintain accurate records of weekly hours of work. BTW, not unlike the world of psychiatry, an “hour” at the Cali School is a fifty-minute hour, followed by a ten-minute break.

Hours of work outside the allotted hours

When students want extra rehearsals beyond the allotted hours (see above), they must pay you directly. Be professional, and make all financial arrangements clear from the start. It is always a good idea to make a simple written contract with the student stating hourly rate and number of hours planned. Make no assumptions when money is involved.

Are recitals considered as billable hours, just like rehearsals?

Yes. See details in page above. For any hours beyond these 10 hours, the student must pay you.

Scheduling Rehearsals (Especially for pianists who play for Masterclasses)

You can put a sign-up sheet on the Division Bulletin Board (eg., String board, Woodwind Board) with times that you are available to rehearse with students. Please announce in Masterclass about these sign-up sheets and your availability. If you want, you could split the hours into half-hours.

Subs for illness or emergencies

In an emergency, if you need a sub, please contact one of the other accompanists on the official list to ask if they can help out. The most current list of accompanists and their contact information is always posted on the Accompanist Bulletin Board. Please inform the student and teacher involved about your need to be absent. If you are not successful in finding a sub, tell the student and the studio professor how sorry you are.

Special Notes to Practicum Professors

PERFORMANCE PRACTICUM

  • Professors are encouraged to create a weekly calendar at the beginning of each semester. Professors may write in the names of 2 or 3 students who will play each week. This will be more efficient that having the students themselves signing up. If this cannot be done at the very beginning of the semester, the Professors can fill in the posted calendar in a timely manner as the semester progresses.
  • Once a weekly schedule is posted, every student will know the date of their practicum performance. Then, the student can contact the assigned pianist well in advance and give them a copy of the music. Once the pianist has the music, the student and pianist can work out the one-hour rehearsal time for the week before the practicum performance.

 

Special Notes to Applied Music Professors

APPLIED LESSONS (all but vocalists)

  • Professors need to assign music as early as possible for the entire semester. This can happen in the first two weeks, but possibly take a longer time if the student is new to the Professor.
  • The student and the Professor will discuss when and how often the student will need a pianist. The answer will include
    • Performance Practicums,
    • Midweek Concerts Wed. @ 1:30 – once per semester,
    • visiting guest Master Classes,
    • Performance Nights,
    • Juries, and Recitals.
    • THE PROFESSOR WILL THEN REPORT THIS TO THE PIANIST WORKING WITH THAT PROFESSOR AND PROFESSOR’S STUDENTS.

 

APPLIED LESSONS (vocalists only)

Professors need to assign music as early as possible for the entire semester.  This can happen in the first two weeks, but possibly take a longer time if the student is new to the Professor. Additional repertoire may be added later in the semester.  Students may bring other repertoire that they are preparing for competitions or auditions and must supply the pianist with music ASAP.

  • Pianists will be available for 13 lessons per semester. Professors will inform studio pianists what time to come to each lesson, but accompanists will still be paid for the 50-minute hour.
    • For freshman and new students, this may be later in the hour- i.e. 10-15 minutes.
    • For recitalists, or near jury time, this will most likely be for the entire hour.
  • Voice Night Recitals – 2 – usually 2 pianists split each of these recitals
  • Midweek Concerts Wed. @ 1:30 Voice Recital – once per semester
  • Juries – 3.5 to 4 full days – all studio pianists play these
  • Recitals – pre arranged – pianists will be the studio accompanist for students with whom they are performing recitals.
  • If the pianist for a Master Class or Midweek Concert is different than the weekly lesson pianist, the student may request extra rehearsal time.

 

More events/classes that need Accompanists

  • Diction Classes
  • Song Repertoire Classes
  • Voice Pedagogy Classes
  • Choral Conducting weekly lessons
  • Acting for the Singer
  • Voice Class for Non-Majors
  • Cali School Audition dates
  • Visiting Guest Master Classes – one or two per semester
  • Studio voice classes – 1 per semester per teacher – not more than 2 hours.
  • Opera Workshop rehearsals – classroom accompanying for staging rehearsals
  • If the pianist for a Master Class or Midweek Concert is different than the weekly lesson pianist, the student may request extra rehearsal time.

Additional needs for Accompanists may arise throughout the semester, such as auditions for new Professors, outreach concerts, recording piano tracks for students during pandemics, etc.

 

Policies created by David Witten and Dmitri Korneev

For questions, please contact Dr. David Witten at wittend@montclair.edu