The Importance of Playing Duets

violin duetsThere are tons of benefits to playing duets, whether it’s with another violinist or another instrument altogether. Read on as Washington DC music teacher Kaushik S. explains…



Duets/duos are an integral component of comprehensive music training. In covering the importance of duets in learning music, there are two primary types that will be covered.

First, it is important to be able to perform with another person playing the same instrument. Two violins playing separate parts will achieve this end. In doing so, you’ll learn not only your own part, but also how to follow the other part as you play along. This will increase ear training, and will also allow you to adjust any potential mistakes.  The ear training will allow you to recognize patterns and harmony in music, all of which will improve your ability to correct yourself going forward during your practices and performances.

In addition, it is also important that students learn to play along with other instruments. A duo for violin/flute/viola or piano can serve as an example. This allows you to apply the ear training techniques already learned to playing with other instrumentalists.

The importance of this goes beyond improving one’s own playing. It also helps you to play better in groups, whether it’s smaller groups (chamber groups, quartets) or full-size orchestras. Oftentimes, music is performed in group settings, and being able to connect with fellow musicians in the group is of imperative, and incorporating duets and duos as part of the teaching repertoire is crucial.

Even in situations where a musician plays a solo (e.g. a violin concerto), they are typically accompanied by an orchestra. One will notice that different versions of these concertos will sound different, depending on the personal style of the player and the orchestra. This is due to the soloist and the orchestra being able to work together to create a unique interpretation of whatever the piece may be.

Emphasizing duets/duos in music training cannot be stressed enough, and these reasons are more than ample to support this significant part of learning an instrument.

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Kaushik S.Kaushik S. teaches violin and piano lessons to students of all ages in Washington, DC. He joined the TakeLessons team in December 2012, with several years of experience playing and teaching music. Find out more about Kaushik, or search for a teacher near you!


Photo by Patrick Pielarski

1 reply
  1. Joslyn V.
    Joslyn V. says:

    This is a great article, and to the point why it’s especially important to play with others! Pianists need to remember this, especially since they can get by without ensemble playing. But it is to their advantage to learn how to work well with others musically and socially.


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