The Piano Singer - Singer Pianist London

Personalised Music – a behind the scenes look at bringing song requests to life.

Personalised music has been a key feature of my performances I notice, as I scroll through my socials. What is it? Well, its music that didn’t start out as part of my repertoire, but instead has been requested by yourselves!
Here’s a behind the scenes look at the process involved in creating personalised music, when a client asks for their favourite song. I wonder if more goes into delivering the request than you may expect!
showing james performing at a recent event
Did you know? That all of The Piano Singer packages include a personal song request in the price?

So what happens as I click ‘end meeting’ to log off from our consultation Zoom meeting?

Once you have requested the song that means the world to you, how do I turn this into personalised music unique to your event?

The first challenge

  • I find a recording of the song on Youtube or Spotify to listen and get a feel for the music and the mood that it creates.
  • I listen to the song and using my ear I spend time working out what the chords are and then note them down.
  • Once I have the chords I work to figure out the best key to sing it in. If the song is by a female artist and sung much higher, then I need to transpose it into a key that I can comfortably sing it in. This involves using my theoretical knowledge of music to shift the notes to a level suitable to my voice. Here’s a clip of this process at work so that I can pull off a Beyonce classic! Or here is a behind the scenes of the process with Prince.

The main task

  • I start to learn the song by listening to it in small sections, this process can take varying amounts of time depending on whether the song is familiar to me or brand new.
  • If the personalised music is to be used for a wedding, I will be considering which parts of the songs will work best depending on where you see it fitting. For example, if it’s to be used for the bride’s entrance (processional) I have to figure out which part works best timing wise. This is at play here with a Samm Henshaw song that I learned. Whilst playing I need to keep an eye on the action to ensure the bride arrives to the music. (I keep a bit extra in mind here in case its a long walk!) If the song is for the couple’s departure (recessional) I will begin singing and playing the song at the chorus. For a first dance of course the whole song is required!


  •  I rehearse the song until it stays in my mind! This can take a couple of hours depending on the difficulty level of the song.

Things to remember about personalised music… There has never yet been a song that I haven’t been able to recreate for any client, so don’t worry, just ask!

I can turn any up tempo song into something romantic!

At least two weeks notice is required for personalised music, this is due to the volume of my bookings and my song requests and the importance of having enough time to learn them all. Without two weeks it can be difficult to fit in learning time!
And finally, if you are professionally filming your event and wish for me to record in my home studio a version of your personalised music, so that you can overlay the track to your visuals to keep, just ask me for more information!
For music inspiration visit, and check out this article which has lots of ideas to support your music planning!
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