It is an uncomfortable position to be in when one realises how easily a live musician can be replaced by recorded music. However, I like to think that it doesn’t automatically reduce any musician present to the role of Button Pusher. Both Christa Hugo and I might have pushed buttons on many an occasion for MTB, but we also kept a time track (starting from the écarté position? That’ll be at 1’07’’), took down choreography marks, helped the teachers navigate through odd counts (yes, the introduction was a long 14 counts or an 4+10, if that helps) and tricky corners (no, your ears aren’t playing tricks on you, the music has changed from 3/4 to 2/4 ) .
If you can’t provide live music, you can still BE a musician and provide expertise which will smooth out potential bumps in the rehearsal process. The reassurance that this gives a teacher is HUGE and helps engender trust in working partnerships between dancer and musician.
Helping dancers navigate through tricky music is one of the main responsibilities of a rehearsal pianist and no CD can ever replace the help a live musician can provide