How collaboration makes better pianists...

Just a few general thoughts as we jump into another academic year.  I'll write more on each of these specific topics later, but I'd like to get the little hamsters in our brains off and running...

(1) It reminds us that breathing is an indispensable part of musical communication. 

(2) It expands and reinforces our knowledge of style, form and historical context.

(3) Particularly in vocal collaboration (artsong, opera or choral music) , it expands our appreciation for musical meaning by joining poetry to sound.  (This also encourages us to develop working familiarity with other languages.)

(4) Working with conductors reminds us that music must constantly be in motion.  This should lead us to a deeper awareness of tension and release in our bodies while we are playing. 

(5) It reminds us that the world does not revolve around solo piano music (or concertos).

This is by no means comprehensive, and I'll most likely have several more bullets later on.  For now, back to work...