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How much do I charge for accompaniment? (Read 14405 times)

Offline jamiefranklin

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How much do I charge for accompaniment?
« on: June 13, 2015, 04:39:01 PM »
Hello. I've been teaching piano for a while but haven't done any accompanying. A local teacher has got in touch and asked if I can do some accompanying for a couple of Grade 2 flourtists. She wants me to practice with them beforehand and do their exam. I'm thinking I will charge them for the time I need to learn the pieces, practice time and the exam time. Is this right? I'm not sure how to go about it. 

Offline pianoman1349

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 05:25:20 PM »
In my city, it is almost career suicide for an accompanist to charge for learning the music ... especially if the works are in the standard student and/or professional repertoire.  Even if it isn't (e.g. Rautavaara Piano Concerto), or extremely difficult (e.g. Rachmaninov Cello Sonata) learning fees are very rarely charged.  In my experience, I have never actually heard of any accompanist charging for the time it takes to learn a new work -- it is often considered a privilege to learn a new work that will likely generate more income in the future, when someone else asks to play it.

In general, the only fees charged are for rehearsals and performances.  Rehearsals are general charged per hour (anywhere from 50 - 80/hr for a good accompanist) and performances are charged per person, regardless of how long the actual playing time is ($50 - 80/performance -- Full recitals are significantly higher).

Offline michael_sayers

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 07:59:38 PM »
I also have never heard of an accompanist charging for time to learn (or practice) the music.


Mvh,
Michael

Offline keypeg

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 09:53:49 PM »
When I was a violin student, I sometimes had to work with an accompanist.  I was only charged for the rehearsal time and the time for the performance at the recitals or exam.  My first was at the grade 1 level, with no experience.  My accompanist also guided me through the process of rehearsing with her.  She also told me how we would work together on stage - how I would give her a nod, what to do if I froze, things like that.  I think there is a difference between accompanying a professional or experienced musician or student, versus a student at the grade 2 level, so I thought I'd throw that in.  :)

Offline diomedes

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 10:59:51 PM »
Accompanists don't charge for their time they put into learning material. I've never seen that happen.

I've been asked to do some work of that nature lately, and learning some material for instrumentalists can be a true nuisance. Quite a long time ago i was accompanying for an advanced flute student, the stuff i was made to play was very very very unreasonable. I don't recall the name of the composer, but it was extremely reminiscent of Rachamaninov on piano. Needless to say, had to bust my ass to learn it. Or you can be asked to play Brahms. Or Franck. In which case you consider telling them to find someone else.

But, a learning opportunity is exactly that. It's a skill and you have an opportunity to improve it as exchange and get payed for it.
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #5 on: June 14, 2015, 02:08:15 PM »
Hello. I've been teaching piano for a while but haven't done any accompanying. A local teacher has got in touch and asked if I can do some accompanying for a couple of Grade 2 flourtists. She wants me to practice with them beforehand and do their exam. I'm thinking I will charge them for the time I need to learn the pieces, practice time and the exam time. Is this right? I'm not sure how to go about it. 

Not quite right. All of the accompanists I have seen are apex sight-readers. If musicians could charge for the time it took to learn they would all be rich.  The time for rehearsal and eventual performance, that is completely reasonable to charge for.

Offline michael_c

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 02:32:33 PM »
I've done a lot of accompanying; I've never been paid for learning the pieces. Most of the time I rely on my sight-reading skills: if you want to work as an accompanist, it's best to be a good sight-reader. In fact, if you do a lot of accompanying, you will probably become a good sight-reader anyway.

As to fees, here in Germany a beginner accompanist will probably get 20 or 25 Euros an hour for accompanying students in fairly easy pieces. More experienced players usually ask for something between 30 and 50 Euros. If you play Brahms or Franck violin sonatas in concert you should not be considered as an accompanist, but as an equal partner, paid accordingly.


Offline dcstudio

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #7 on: June 14, 2015, 07:54:41 PM »
yeah, you really can't charge for learning.  A flat rate that includes one rehearsal is standard.  For that kind of exam all you can really expect is about $100-120 for the pair depending on how rich your neighborhood is.  Schedule them one after the other for a 15 min rehearsal each.  That's really all it should take.  Maybe two if they are total rookies. Hopefully their exam times will be close together as well... it's really a drag to have to sit there all day and wait.   Usually there are practice rooms available for a quick warm-up right before they play and that makes a big difference.

Be a friendly face for them, make them comfortable when they are playing before the judge.  This is what gets the call backs.  They will want only you to accompany them... it can be very lucrative when you get a reputation for turning out good scores and happy soloists.  It really starts to payoff when they go to all state...  then you can charge for travel and lodging.   

It makes for a profitable day to say the least.

best of luck... it is an enormous amount of work at first to be a good accompanist.  After a while though, when you have played every single contest piece there is--and you have seen every screw up possible-- it gets very, very, easy.

Offline taoxia1970

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 04:18:02 AM »
Usually you can charge each rehearsal and each performance, the time you spend to learn the piece is usually not billable.

Offline taoxia1970

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Re: How much do I charge for accompaniment?
«Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 04:24:12 AM »
If you play Brahms or Franck violin sonatas in concert you should not be considered as an accompanist, but as an equal partner, paid accordingly.


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oh, this is such a great comment, I had to learn the piano part for a tuba solo piece, and Hindemith trumpet sonata, I really should have been considered as a soloist as well,  not an accompanist!