One of the first questions parents ask their child’s piano teacher is “Does he have a talent for music? Is he talented enough to play the piano?” Or, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is “what does it take to be a good musician?”
The answer is knowledge, discipline, dedication, patience, sensitivity, and motivation.
Knowing about your instrument is a must when you decide you want to be good at playing it. You must know how the sound is produced how the mechanics works, and how to play on the piano. Learning about the elements of music and piano technique are essential part of your playing.
Once you have the knowledge about the instrument and about some music theory and history the real work will begin. You will get to repeat phrases over and over again. You will get to play scales and pieces again and again. With the help of your teacher you will have a goal to achieve. With your goal being either something simple, like playing without any mistakes the first couple of measures of your piece, or something a bit more complicated, like working on phrasing or memorizing long, more than 30 pages solo piano piece, you should be prepared to repeat same phrases and pieces and being able to discipline yourself.
Even if you play the piano for fun there is a lot of time you have to commit in order to get better and progress. Practicing has to become part of your daily routine. Even if the practice will be for couple of minutes a day, or better a couple of hours it will be something that you should do on a daily basis. Being dedicated is something which will help you get better at playing and realize “what does it take to be a good musician.”
Learning a piece or getting better at your piano technique takes time. Even if your goal is not so ambitious as to be a concert pianist it will take time for you to start feeling confident and satisfied with your playing. Don’t give up, be patient and the success will come. It's part of a normal process that everyone goes through.
Listening to music, playing it and analyzing it is part of your growth as a musician and instrumentalist. Your ears and eyes will get more sensitive about what they hear or see, but that sensitivity will only come when you train your senses. Spending time listening to some of the great classical composers pieces or even going to concerts and listening to live music, watching how musicians are interacting on stage will change your sense of music and help you understand “what does it take to be a good musician.”
One of the best parts about being a musician and performer is that you get to show who you are. Sooner or later after the hours of dedicated practicing, discipline, knowledge and training you ears and mussels, you will get to perform as well. To be on stage alone or with other people is something that gives you the opportunity to communicate with others.
To experiment with the knowledge you have already will give you the chance to get to know yourself better and playing with other people will give you the motivation to continue to grow as a musician and help you answer “what does it take to be a good musician?”
You are never too old...
“You are never too old to set another goal, or too dream a new dream”