Post # 1
I asked my fiance to figure out music for our ceremony, which is just a month away now (gees – it’s coming quick!). He picked all very classical songs. We have a friend of the family playing piano for us.
I am much more into contemporary music, not classical, but we feel bad asking the pianist/friend to learn ALL songs, since she’s not the kind of person who is going to already know Beatles and U2 songs.
How many songs is too many to learn in a month?
And what do you think of mixing contemporary and classical stuff in one ceremony, as long as it’s all on the piano?
Post # 3
We asked ours to learn two out of the three songs we used. I also felt bad asking him to learn a lot, especially b/c ours are traditional Jewish songs so he didn’t know anything about them. I would just ask him what is ok though.
Post # 4
Apparently J originally told her we’d give her 5-6 songs (processional, a song during the ceremony, recessional; I don’t know what else he wants to give her) and she was okay with that, and said she could play “normal wedding songs” from a wedding music book she has before and after the ceremony.
His thing is, “She agreed to it”, but I feel like we’re cutting it too close with only a month left!
Post # 5
definitely just ask her. Maybe she is a quick learner or maybe she needs extra time (that you may not have) It is better to have one amazing song than 30 minutes of your guests wishing they were hearing impaired.
Post # 6
depends on their skill level.. if they are very musical n talented then it wont take them more than a few attempts to learn several songs but some pianists need more time than others to learn songs
Post # 7
It depends on how well she plays and reads music. Some pianists can learn a new song in a hour and master it. Others, it could take longer. I took lessons for 8 years and was fairly good, but not so great at reading sheet music so it would take me about 2 days to really “get” a song. BUT my instructor could pretty much just look at a song and play away.
I’d just ask her. I’m sure that she won’t be offended and will probably like that you asked 🙂
Post # 8
Has she played weddings before? It sounds as though she’s comfortable with the book of classical songs, so practice time for those will be minimal. Given the time constraints, however, I would choose three important songs for her to learn (and learn well). The ways of pop music (technical stuff like chording, pedaling, etc.) are rather different from classical and will take more time to perfect, but three is a reasonable number.
Post # 9
my husband and I are both professional musicians. We chose a WONDERFUL pianist who is amazing. I can offer some advice: CHOOSE A GOOD PIANIST!!!! If your pianist is a great musician–he/she can probably sight-read your music the first day you hand it to them… go to a local college and get the emails of the professors. Ask them–they love to make extra money! If they cannot do it then ask if they can recommend a student.
Coming from a musician who has played many weddings–DO NOT FEEL BAD about asking them to learn a lot of music!! It is their JOB. YOU are paying them. You should get what you want.
If they cannot handle it then they will probably tell you. Ask to hear it a few months before your wedding so that you can approve of the quality!
Post # 10
@mthoma27: A friend of my fiance’s family has agreed to play for us. I don’t know if she’s ever done a wedding before, but I think she might play for their church from time to time (I don’t know; he’s the musical one so I trusted him to find someone capable).
Post # 11
Definitely ask your pianist! I request a song list at least 30 days prior to the wedding date, and this is my full-time job. No one wants to play poorly due to inadequate preparation time.
It’s in your own best interest to get your pianist the music as soon as possible, and I’d suggest no more than 2-3 songs that she’d need to learn. If she has to spread her practice time over more songs, each one that she’s learning won’t be as good as possible.
The sooner she has them, the better everything will sound. You don’t want them to sound just OK! She might also have some suggestions of pieces that she is comfortable playing.