At a customer workshop I presented at a retail jewelry store last week, an interesting mix of professions were represented. One of the attendees was a professional pianist, a tall, elegant woman who explained to the group her very specific jewelry needs.
I used to be a bit of a pianist in my youth. I studied classical piano, and for fun, played for the high school musicals, accompanied students at their recitals, and even provided rehearsal music for a ballet academy. My piano career culminated in my own piano recital my senior year of high school. While I learned the pitfalls of wearing platform sandals during a performance (platform shoes and piano pedals are not a good combination), I was very much enamored of wearing rings and bracelets that sparkled on my fingers and hands as I played.
The pianist told the assembled group that she doesn’t like to wear rings or bracelets when she performs because she feels they weigh her hands and arms down. That’s something I hadn’t considered. Maybe that’s one important difference between an amateur musician and a professional.
She further mentioned that she avoids earrings that dangle and distract too much, although a bit of sparkle near her ears is fine. What was even more unexpected was her comment that she doesn’t like to wear necklaces that swing out when she leans over the keyboard (or, no doubt, when she takes her bows).
With regard to the latter point, I suggested she look at contoured necklaces that conform to the shape of her neck, and that she avoid pearls or beads except in a choker length.
There are a couple of lessons here.
First, don’t assume that because you know what someone does for a living, that that information alone is enough on which to draw conclusions about her jewelry preferences. Showing a concert pianist flashy rings might seem appropriate and expected but in this case, would be entirely wrong.
Second, the qualities of specific pieces of jewelry that are important to the wearer can be as unusual as their weight and movement. It’s not just about appearance.
And indeed, for the professional musician, what’s ultimately important is sound, although she’ll want to look good creating her music. Help her select jewelry that will serve as the perfect accompaniment.