Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

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nick h.
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Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by nick h. » 30 Sep 2010, 02:09

It must be a lot of people's idea of a dream job, and therefore absurdly competitive and underpaid! :? But if you do get any sort of income from the piano I'd love to hear about it and get a few tips.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by Gill the Piano » 30 Sep 2010, 18:22

Accompanists for choirs and ballet classes are like hens' teeth. I could be playing every evening if I wanted. Churches want organists, and any competent pianist can play the organ if they can play legato (I don't bother with the pedals!). Some hotels/restaurants want lounge type pianists. Depends what sort of muso you are as to which sort of thing you apply for! £25 per hour minimum if you're good.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

nick h.
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Re: Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by nick h. » 30 Sep 2010, 21:54

Blimey, that's encouraging, thank you. Where are the vacancies advertised? Or is it a case of calling all the people you can think of? And how do you define 'good' - a music exam grade perhaps?

I'm currently not 'good' - haven't played since I was 8. I'm 48 now and looking at being long- term unemployed. For health reasons whatever I do next needs to be low stress - and if I can spend a year or two learning and then get 25 quid an hour playing for choirs and ballet classes that would suit me very well. I used to sing in choirs and I'd be very content in that environment.

Gill the Piano
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Re: Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by Gill the Piano » 01 Oct 2010, 16:29

The £25 depends on where you are and your abilities; that's London/Thames Valley prices. What grade are you, though? You need to be a good sightreader as choir leaders/ballet teachers/vicars are liable to drop 11th hour music on you. Get your playing up to scratch and maybe start off with a freebie session playing to the old folk in a home/club or something (beware; the pianos are often cooked in the heat and therefore a heap of tut. Maybe invest in a keyboard you can lug around if you're serious about this) an see how you get on. If it's too stressful, it's not for you. Put the word out - or cards up - at music shops - they're often a first port of call for anyone seeking an accompanist. Or mention to an existing accompanist in case they want an evening off!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

nick h.
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Re: Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by nick h. » 02 Oct 2010, 04:52

I'm afraid I never did take any exams! What grade should I aim for?

Gill the Piano
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Re: Does anyone here make money by playing the piano?

Post by Gill the Piano » 02 Oct 2010, 17:44

As high as you can; we're looking at a long-term project here, and you'd need to invest in lessons an exams for yourself, I'm afraid, if you've had such a long lay-off.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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