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Become A Professional Pianist: Getting Paid To Play
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First, let’s discuss semantics for just a second. By the phrase “professional pianist” it is implied that the meaning is one who is a concert level pianist, with the professional level skills, years of training and hours upon hours of practice to make them top in their field.

Professional to some people may mean the difference between paid and not paid, and that is a whole new can of worms entirely. Just because someone has paid you a few bucks to bang out a couple of songs on the piano does not make you a professional pianist, not by a long shot. And, a real, honest to goodness pianist does not always do it for the money anyway, sometimes they chose to play a venue because it is historic, or a great honor to be asked to play there.

Now, let’s have a look at what it takes to become a professional pianist. Think carefully about your strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:

1. Drive. Do you really have the fire burning in your belly that keeps you up until the wee hours of the night working on something, anything, until you get it right? If you don’t have a fire in your belly, you will probably give up when the going gets rough, and believe me, the going will get rough.

2. Dedication. Much like drive, dedication will keep you working at something until you have mastered it utterly, even when the fire in your belly has dampened down to embers. Dedication will help you re-stoke that fire and get it burning again.

3. Practice. If you are not planning to put in hours and hours at the piano, I am afraid that your dreams of becoming a professional pianist will fail.

4. A good instructor. Video lessons and online courses are great, no one is knocking them at all, but if the goal is to become a professional pianist then the choice is clear: find yourself a real live teacher who will not only guide you through the basics and onward toward the upper echelon of pianists, but will serve as a mentor, a friend and a shoulder to cry on when you feel like giving up. Your best bet is someone who has been there themselves, who can give you pointers based on real experiences.

Shoot for the stars if you want to, that is your choice, but know that you have to have all of the tools in place or you will never get past the treetops.

Street Talk

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