Episode 34 – When Tunes Work, and Don’t in Ballet Class

Thursday can only mean one thing…a brand new episode!  And this week, it’s all about when tunes go wrong.  Call this a horror stories episode if you will!

We have quite an in depth discussion about choosing music you think is going to work for your exercise, but turns out when you play it, it is way off and you have to think on your feet about how you’re going to get out of it.

As pianists, sometimes we choose something we think is right, but the teacher wants something much quicker or slower, and that can dramatically change the music you have chosen to play.  Then what do you do?

We talk about examples of tunes that only work in specific settings, and of course when it’s fallen apart, and David enlightens us from a teacher’s perspective how it feels when he’s presented with music he wasn’t expecting, and how he deals with such situations.

The reel!

The Catharsis Reel is an American reel originally in G minor. It was composed by Amy Cann, a fiddler and a music teacher from Vermont. Cann said that she wrote the tune in ten minutes one night instead of making a phone call “and saying something I’d later regret to someone I cared about very much”. **

We’ve spoken about the accelerando aspect of David’s petit allegro occasionally. Here is an unedited recording of Chris accompanying class with David in April 2022 including David’s famous ‘a little quicker pleae’

Chris playing the famous ‘Catharsis Reel’ including accelerando for David Yow’s ballet class in April 2022


** Information on the Catharsis reel was taken from tunearch.org

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