Playing the piano for local churches


I know its not much of a ‘vocation’ but i would really love to learn how to play the piano, potentially playing the piano for local churches etc… any ideas on what i need… like do i need qualifications etc?


I can't see a church needing you to "qualify" as a cantor.

They'd probably let you in, no matter how humble your piano playing may be at this moment


Can you play? Sightread? Accompany people singing?


It depends on the parish and also on the diocese. In my current diocese, for example, most if not all parish accompanists (pianists, organists, etc) are formally trained with a college degree. In my home diocese, on the other hand, most of us did not have a degree.

In my experience as a musician, I found that many of the smaller parishes within a diocese do not require you to have a degree, just the ability. However, there is much more to this than merely playing the piano. You need to be liturgically trained to know what is and is not acceptable.


I was just wondering about learning, i havent ever played a piano, i was just thinking of doing it as like a hobbie/interest in order to help local churches who dont have people playing… then potentially growing with it in some type of way… thanks though for the comments


Find a good teacher (at a music store or privately) and start learning. There are some ‘homeschool programs’ but without anyone to guide you, you may not learn correctly. You should find out if you like playing or have any aptitude for it before you make any other plans.

If you can already read music and have played another instrument or sung, you’ll move quickly through the beginning stuff of learning.


I would learn how to play the organ then. There are few organists out there and many organs that remain silenced because of this. It’s even better that you can’t play piano. Then they can’t make you play piano too. We need to revitalize the organ during Mass.


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