Geraldine in a Bottle looks at what it takes to become a professional musician.
You've been thinking of becoming a full time collaborative pianist, but is it the right decision? Answer the questions below to find out.
1. You're given one week to learn a brand new piece.
a) How about two weeks instead?
b) Kill me now!
c) I better get payed more.
2. The choir director stops in the middle of the piece.
a) You try to figure out what spot he will start over from
b) You listen to his notes
c) You daydream
3. Your last day off was a month ago, you think...
a) It's been too much work, I need a vacation
b) Well, better working than not
c) I had only had 2 performances, easy month
4. You've just been given a piece to sight read in public.
a) You quickly scan through it to check for trouble spots
b) You focus on your breathing to calm down your nerves
c) You just start playing
5. Someone wants to hire you and tells you the accompaniment is easy.
a) You're relieved, this will be an easy gig
b) You demand to see the score as proof
c) You need the money, so whatever
6. Your singer asks you if you know that Italian word.
a) You look it up in the Italian dictionary you always keep near by
b) Why is the singer asking you? You're a pianist, not a translator!
c) You take an educated guess
7. It's dress rehearsal time.
a) You make sure to play your part as best as possible
b) You make your soloist practice the bows with you
c) You give a pep talk to your soloist
8. You just sight read a piece and are told it lacked musicality.
a) You break down and reconsider your career choices
b) You remind people that you were sight reading
c) You congratulate yourself, it was a really hard piece. Too bad if other people don't understand.
9. Your arms hurt because...
a) You're carrying around way too much music
b) You're playing 12 hours a day
c) You went to the gym yesterday
10. The hardest part of being a collaborative pianist is...
a) Not enough time to practice on your own
b) Finding a keyboard instead of a a piano at the concert space
c) People not showing up for rehearsals
Add up your points by using the following chart, and find out if youʼre ready to be a collaborative pianist.
1- a) 2 pts b) 1pt c) 3 pts 2- a) 3 pts b) 2 pts c) 1 pt
3- a) 1 pt b) 2 pts c) 3 pts 4- a) 3 pts b)1 pt c) 2 pts
5- a)1 pt b) 3 pts c) 2 pts 6- a) 3 pts b) 1 pt c) 2 pts
7- a) 1 pt b) 3 pts c) 2 pts 8- a) 1 pt b) 2 pts c) 3 pts
9- a) 3 pts b) 2 pts c) 1 pt 10- a) 3 pts b) 1 pt c) 2 pts
If you scored above 23: Congratulations, you were born a collaborative pianist! You know what the job entails, youʼre a killer sight reader, and you know how to handle a large variety of personalities. Keep up the good work!
If you scored between 15 and 22: Youʼre not fully there yet, but you're well on your way to becoming a great collaborative pianist. There are certain aspects of the job that you may still have to improve on, such as learning a large amount of music in a short amount of time, or dealing with a lot of different people. Keep at it and you will get there!
If you scored below 14: You are not yet ready to take the plunge. Spend more time honing your skills, and talk to collaborative pianists to get some insights. You want to make sure you do a job that matches your life and personality best.