I’ve recently completed a recording project for an AMEB grade 5 cello exam. The brief was to record four pieces’ piano accompaniment at performance tempo and additionally, a slower tempo for rehearsal.

Here is a snippet:


You may have heard that the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), Australia’s best known organisation conducting instrumental exams, is now allowing students in the early grades to use recorded piano accompaniment in the early grades.

When I first heard this, I was a little concerned from a purist point of view – recorded accompaniment is simply not anything like playing with an in-the-flesh accompanist.  In an ideal world everyone would have access to an accompanist.

In my opinion the reasons why to hire a live accompanist are plenty – sound, performance skills, musical flexibility, aural and ensemble skills, to name a few.

But for some (myself included) the cost and organisational complexity of hiring a professional accompanist is exclusionary.

My view is this: if you have the time and money to pay an accompanist, and you want to, you will benefit from doing so.  On the other hand, if it would be a financial burden, or you would prefer to work with recordings, I say go ahead and do it.

A recorded accompanist is better than none, I say!


If you would like to discuss accompaniment recordings, please contact me.

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