Career Paths For Piano Students

shutterstock_2283762273You may dream of being able to turn your love of playing the piano into a career, but are unsure of how to embark along this path or if it is even a viable career option. You may be a student who has taken piano lessons in Houston for years, or just starting out as a pianist and realize you really enjoy playing the piano….that’s great! Every professional musician has had to consider these options at some point before they took the plunge and decided their calling is to have a career in music

A career as a professional musician can seem like an intimidating choice, wrought with competition and financial uncertainty. Fortunately, if you truly love music then creating a successful career as a professional musician is highly attainable and immensely rewarding!
Several of the most common routes to consider when building a career as a pianist are through performing, accompanying, and teaching. Almost every professional pianist will incorporate some of each of these aspects into their career.
Let’s look at these options to help you envision your own career as a professional pianist!


Performance careers are the most competitive, and require years of training to achieve a high level of artistry. Studying in college under esteemed teachers is the best way to train for a performance career, as well as participating in competitions and festivals.
This being said, if you love playing the piano then this can be an extremely rewarding aspect of your career, and the hours you will spend practicing and refining your craft will be worthwhile.
There are many avenues one may pursue in a performance oriented career, and solely giving recitals is certainly not the most common. Opportunities to perform may include musicals, church gigs, jazz ensembles, and even pop/contemporary groups. If you are a diverse musician, you are more likely to attain success in a performance oriented career path, and the more you put yourself out in the community the more opportunities to perform will come your way.


Accompanying is a great way to both perform and be a valuable asset in your musical community. There are a number of accompanying opportunities available to pianists such as in churches, dance schools, and vocal/instrumental lessons, performances and competitions/festivals.
Accompanying is a fabulous way to improve your own ensemble playing as well as that of your peers. There are degree paths in college nowadays designed specifically to focus on the intricate art of piano collaboration. If you enjoy creating music with others, this is a terrific way to incorporate performing into a successful music career.


Teaching is usually a part of almost every professional career in music as it is a way of generating a stable income throughout the year. Many students start out on the piano, because learning the piano initially builds a solid musical foundation for every budding musician. This means that as a Houston piano teacher, opportunity to teach is abundant and it is generally very easy to fill up your schedule and be able to financially support yourself.
Another perk of incorporating teaching into your music career is that you can build your own schedule, and take on as many or as few students as you personally need around your other musical engagements. Many find teaching younger piano students online fulfilling and rewarding, as well!

A Diversified Career as a Pianist

Most professional pianists will incorporate a few of the above options into their career. This not only keeps you engaged in different aspects of music creation, but also provides opportunities to build a schedule which works for you. For example, you could choose to teach throughout the week, and fill your weekends with performing such as taking on a church gig or playing in shows. Or you could accompany at a dance school and teach to fill in your schedule as works for you.
Yes, the life of a professional musician is certainly not the standard 9-5 job, and the hours are not optimal for every lifestyle, but if you decide it is a fit for you then you can build a successful career in music and love what you do!
While pursuing a musical career can perhaps seem to be an unstable choice, this is truly not the case! In my own experience I have found if you like what you do, it is not only extremely attainable to create a successful career as a musician, but also the most rewarding option!
Consulting your piano teacher is a first great step toward taking steps to building a career as a pianist. Contact us today for more information! At Lessons In Your Home, our instructors are thoroughly vetted, professional, and passionate about music. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child. Contact us today to learn more.
By Jennifer Ridout

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