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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
The Keyboardist's Career Guide: A 10-Step Plan to Your Dream Job in the Music Business by Gregg Akkerman is a blueprint for how to actually make a living as a keyboardist/pianist. During his lengthy career, Akkerman has done it all and in this book he shares what he’s learned. The Keyboardist's Career Guide contains detailed lists of jobs within multiple categories including band gigs, solo gigs, teaching, accompanying, home studio production, arranging and more. He explains how to get hired for these jobs, the equipment needed (and how to find it) and the musical preparation required. Finally, he details what a keyboardist can expect to be paid and how diversifying can result in a substantial yearly income.
The Keyboardist's Career Guide is a book that many keyboardists would wish they had read when they were just getting started. It is not at all what is taught in school. Gregg Akkerman explains three levels of skill and what opportunities are available to keyboardists at each level. These levels are different from what is traditionally taught because they reflect the skills actually needed if one intends to earn money. Aspiring keyboardists will want to know what it is they really need to know so they can learn the right stuff. One student could have a college degree in piano performance and be a beginner by Akkerman’s standards, while another could be an entirely self-taught high school student and be considered intermediate or even advanced. Akkerman provides a plan for how a “beginner” can get to the advanced level and it takes years and resources, but if someone is motivated enough it can certainly be done. I give this book a high recommendation, but I give it the highest recommendation for high school and college students who dream of becoming professional musicians. It is possible. Gregg Akkerman shows how to get there in The Keyboardist's Career Guide: A 10-Step Plan to Your Dream Job in the Music Business.