While master pianists may perform gracefully and dazzle the ears of their audience, it took more than a bit of practice for these artists to get where they are. From the presence of mental genius, to the abnormal dexterity of their fingers, there are several factors that must be acquired or instinctive for any aspiring concert pianist to succeed. If you are hoping to master the ivory, here are some things you may need before you become a legend of the trade:
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
To say that a master pianist requires a few hours of practice would be a gross understatement. In fact, many contemporary concert pianists spent their younger years practicing for over eight hours a day to reach the level at which they play today. That is not to say that each individual requires the same amount of practice, but playing the piano several hours per day is a necessity for anyone wishing to become a master.
Even though many pianists have the ability to practice for hours on end, this dedication is sometimes squandered on those who don’t have the patience for passages and entire pieces that require a perfectionist’s touch to be played correctly. A master pianist needs patience in order to fully master the intricacies and details of anything set before them on the stand.
Commitment to the Profession
Aspiring concert pianists who treat the piano as a mere hobby will fall short of their goal, as they fail to understand the dedication required to become a true master of the instrument. An individual hoping to become a concert pianist, or even a general performer, must commit themselves to such a life and career ahead of them. They must constantly practice, and it helps to have a nuanced understanding of the complexities of all types of music in order to fully comprehend the spectrum of the instrument.
Advanced Critical Thinking
While some view playing music as a task that requires nothing more than practice and imagination, experts also need an extremely analytical mind and a critical eye in order to perform at a high level. Most pieces in the repertoire of a classical pianist must be performed with nothing more than written instruction from composers from the past, requiring the pianist to use their inferential and analytical skills when deciding exactly how a piece should be performed.
Finger Dexterity and Strength
While much of a pianist’s dexterity is gained throughout the course of multiple practice sessions, it is important that any aspiring concert pianist already have a general mastery of the movements in their hands and digits. Additionally, while it may seem like a pianist’s hands are simply fluttering over the keys, they are actually exercising extreme strength and balance. Having strong and nimble hands and fingers is a critical step towards becoming a master on the stage.
A Will to Get Up and Perform
Finally, no matter how skilled and gifted a pianist may be, they truly become concert performers once they gain the patience, confidence, and dedication required to play for an audience. While their work may appear effortless on stage, concert pianists work incredibly hard, and dedicate their lives to the craft.
This article was contributed by Charlie Caldwell, a freelance writer with a strong interest in music, musical technology, musical gadgets, audio engineering, computer science and other such topics; those with an interest in pianism should view the kensington ipad case with keyboard to further their curiosity.
Image credit goes to Márcio Mesquita.