[Menvi-discuss] Blind orchestral cellist/piano soloist

Stephanie Pieck themusicsuite at verizon.net
Tue Sep 19 17:07:27 EDT 2017

Most of the time it was via dictation, although I did do some parts by ear after leaving college.


From: Menvi-discuss [mailto:menvi-discuss-bounces at menvi.org] On Behalf Of Leslie Hamric via Menvi-discuss
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 5:20 PM
To: This is for discussing music and braille literacy
Cc: Leslie Hamric
Subject: Re: [Menvi-discuss] Blind orchestral cellist/piano soloist


hi Stephanie. How did you transcribe the music yourself? Did you have someone dictated you or did you just do it by ear?


Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 18, 2017, at 4:14 PM, Stephanie Pieck via Menvi-discuss <menvi-discuss at menvi.org> wrote:

A few additional thoughts on blind orchestral musicians follow based on my own experience.


Regarding playing with an orchestra: I played in school orchestras from fifth through twelfth grade, including first chair duties in both the full and chamber orchestras my senior year. I also played cello for the high school’s pit orchestras my first two years, and piano as a junior. After graduating, I majored in piano at college but occasionally played cello in various community orchestra situations, usually when people put together ad hoc groups and needed another cellist to fill things out.


I used a combination of Braille music which I transcribed myself or recordings made by a conductor or colleague recording the cello part slightly under tempo. For my piano work, I always used Braille scores. On both instruments, I memorized my parts but carried Braille notes with me. I kept these under my chair as a cellist so I wouldn’t overcrowd the music stand of my partner—we always shared stands with two people to each stand. For piano, of course, the score could be up on the music rack.


I used my cane in all performance situations and sighted guide to enter and leave stages.


In the case of the piano orchestral work, I made sure to know the part in its entirety before the rehearsals, and I practiced with professional recordings. In this way, I was usually able to play things at a tempo much faster than would be called for in rehearsals. It also gave me a chance to become very familiar with what all the other parts sounded like and where mine fit in.






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