Chamber-Vocal Music Making in the Learning Process – the Role of the Teacher-Pianist in Creating an Ensemble

One of the main subjects studied by young singers – students in the vocal department of the National Academy of Music is chamber singing.
Familiarization with chamber repertoire is an essential and important part of the musical education of young singers. The small form teaches discipline and reflection, attention to proportions and ratios, creates a sense of ensemble, balance, and conceptual unity. By mastering the art song the student develops a range of vocal skills that becomes part of his technical potential.
Although engaged in opera singer training, teacher of chamber singing is not a vocal coach, but a pianist who accompanies the students during the performance of the specified material. This determines his/her performance specifics:
– In the duo he/she is both a teacher and a co-performer – the primary task is to seek a balance between control, support for the student and his own performance.
– In the professional duo there is a collaboration between two equal participants, regardless of technical and interpretational difficulties. However, working with young singers, not yet completely in control of their voice possibilities and the ways to handle them, imposes certain compromises in the interpretation.
Teacher’s role is to set the performance boundaries, so that they have a clear structure, without shifting the still unstable notions of student’s sound-creation and music-making. Piano part may become responsible in creating a truthful artistic expression in order to compensate for some shortcomings of the soloist and hide some of his faults.