Listen to Marina Surgan’s Music for Ballet, Live 3 - Port de bras

Pictured: Principal Pianist/Manager of Musicians Marina Surgan center, with our talented mentors and students.

Email to the Principal Pianist/Manager of Musicians, Marina Surgan, from Ying Qi

This is Ying
I was very fond of music since early childhood. In China, prior coming to Canada, I had been awarded many first and second place awards in the piano competitions at different levels in the city and province wide as well as the Top Award at national competition.

After receiving my bachelor's degree in music, I came to Canada to further my graduate studies and I earned a Master of Music degree in piano performance in 2011 at the University of Saskatchewan. I was then invited to teach piano at U of S Community Music Education Program. During the five years teaching in the program, my students there received many the First place and scholarships every year at the local music festival. Last year, one of my piano students was awarded the Gold Medal through the RCM exam and I was awarded the Gold medal teacher honor accordingly.

You told me that ballet accompaniment should not only cooperate with the dance but it should also help the dancers make every movement forward, so if I know clearly where every up and down occurs in each dance movement, my music will become the same as the dancers.

My gratitude is unspeakable to the guidance and help you offered me and the only thing I can do right now is say Thank you, once again!

Ying’s feedback on the Musicians' Mentoring program

The program is led by the principal ballet pianist Marina Surgan along with a strong music team, working hard on the field of ballet music. I learned that accompanying for classical ballet exercises requires advanced piano technique and musicianship skills, including knowledge on music theory and harmony, melody writing, improvisation and musicality.

The five day musicians' mentoring program has not only pulled me closer to ballet, it also deeply expanded my horizon on ballet music. I now understand playing for ballet class is highly demanding, requiring considerable pianist accompaniment experience, improvisation skills, foundation on composition and harmony, sensitivity to music phrase and as well as familiarity to ballet exercise.

Through observing ballet classes, I had a comprehensive understanding of ballet exercises and generated a strong interest in ballet music. I think the knowledge and skills of ballet accompaniment should be continued by the next generation to ensure the expertise is carried forward.