Making music side by side

Pianists, think back to your first experience playing the piano alongside another.  For me, it was at home at age eight, sitting on the bench of our just-delivered Kawai upright with my mother.  At that moment, I knew nothing about playing the piano.  But like so many, the one and only thing my mother could plunk out was Heart and Soul.  So we sat together at that brand-new piano and made music together.  Skip ahead more than 30 years, and I realize even though it was just Heart and Soul, it was a profound moment – the moment the piano made its entrance into my life.

If you’re interested in the centuries-old tradition of pianists (young and not young, students, hobbyists and professionals alike) making music together, check out our presentation of repertoire at  For almost a decade, J.W. Pepper has been committed to presenting the best of what’s published in this genre.  You’ll find “Ensembles” repertoire under almost every category in the silver horizontal menu (towards the top of every page) including Teaching Library, Repertoire, Sacred, and Seasonal.

We also offer a free, monthly “Piano Ensembles” e-Club. Once you join, you’ll receive monthly emails featuring the best of what’s new for piano four hands, eight hands, and more hands.

What are your most cherished memories of making music side by side?  Please share them with us in the Comments section below.

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  3 comments for “Making music side by side

  1. July 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Cindy, your post brings back many fond memories of making music with my own mother. As you so eloquently put it, “the moment the piano made its entrance into my life” is indeed a profound moment! One to cherish and remember as we introduce our students to this wonderful instrument. Making music together- it’s all good.

  2. July 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I had to chuckle when I read your personal story. I have recently been using “Heart and Soul” in different positions to teach chords and improv to my students. It would be interesting to figure out the top ten piano hits of all time.  “Heart and Soul” would certainly make the list. My first ensemble memory at the piano was also with my mother. We would create silly characters and make up stories on the keyboard together. I am convinced that this is why I ultimately became a composer. Playing music together is one of life’s most intimate experiences.

  3. Debbie
    July 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Your post brought memories of my mother teaching me piano very young. I never have been very good at playing but remember many evenings of singing songs around the piano and my mom playing. My favorite was Que Sera Sera.

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