Pianists play the piano professionally to entertain audiences; they may play for a symphony or music ensemble, or may provide entertainment in a retail, food service, or hotel environment. Some pianists with grand talent may play solo performances at musical halls, while others may record solos or accompaniment for musical recordings, and still others teach students of various levels of experience to play the piano and read music.
Teaching skills and the ability to break down lessons into various steps is important to be a successful tutor, and lessons will usually be prepared in advance. In these cases, pianists may prepare students to play performances and attend auditions and competitions. Some positions allow pianists to play from sheet music, while others will require them to play from memory or by ear. The ability to sight-read complex works is very important; when playing for customers, the pianist may have to play requests, so it is important to have strong knowledge of different kinds of music. Prior to a work shift, it may be necessary to create a repertoire of music to be played, and the ability to play complex repertoires, which requires strong fine motor skills, is essential.
Some jobs may require pianists to have formal musical education and have graduated with a college degree, either a bachelor’s or master’s degree, in a music-related field. However, other positions simply require an audition in order to demonstrate talent.
Perform and practice piano pieces individually or in a group for live audiences.
Advertise and promote musical endeavors through media disseminations.
Transpose music between keys and styles to suit various needs.
Demonstrate and build upon a repertoire of music for piano.