In my opinion, there aren’t many more joyful things in life than making music with another person. I recently have had the pleasure of playing with Kevina Lam, pianist for the School of Music. Kevina’s talent is a gift to the flute studio. She accompanies our class week after week, while maintaining a full schedule with several other studios, recitals, concerts, and being a mom.
During our rehearsals, I have gained so much insight as to how to shape the music. Kevina offers a lot of excellent advice because she hears things from a different point of view. It’s always good to trust an outside perspective that is experienced.
In our last rehearsal, we worked on Prokofiev Sonata in D Major for flute and piano. This piece requires a lot of stamina, but somehow, I enjoyed the more exhausting parts of it. With the piano, everything seemed to come together. It’s beautiful that I can hear the piece a different way each time it is played. Aside from the sweeping gestures of the piano and the fun of the music, it was an added perk that we had a guest in this rehearsal. It was Kevina’s three-year-old son, Harry! This precious kid was so well behaved and interested in what was going on that it made me remember one of the reasons I make music: to bring joy. It also reminded me that an audience isn’t listening for mistakes. They are listening in order to be folded into the music. Offering an experience to the audience is much more rewarding than rehearsing to avoid mistakes. So thank you for being my audience, Harry!
As I prepare for a recital and practice more frequently with piano, I am reminded of how difficult it is to be an accompanist, especially a great one. I’ll never know what it’s like to learn dozens of pieces in the span of a few weeks for multiple students, but Kevina does this all the time. She deserves a lot of thanks. One of the best ways I know how to thank her is by being prepared to make great music. This means listening to recordings and knowing the piano part just as well as I know the flute part. I’ll admit, sometimes I fail on this front, but I am so lucky that my pianist is gracious and helpful. All of our pianists deserve our thanks for their time, energy, effort, masterminding of schedules, and tireless practicing to make us sound awesome.