To become a church musician, you don’t need any formal training, but you should have some skill or talent in playing musical instruments. There are also options for complete beginners, such as singing in a choir, but if you want to be a church musician who plays a musical instrument, you must first learn how to play that instrument. The piano and organ are the most commonly heard instruments in churches, though guitarists are also present. Other, less common instruments are not necessarily prohibited from being played in church, so don’t be discouraged if you play an instrument that isn’t commonly heard at church.
If you already know how to play a specific instrument and want to become a church musician, talk to the music director at your church, if one exists. Volunteer for masses, special events such as weddings or baptisms, and other activities. If you are eager to learn and willing to sacrifice your time to learn the songs, the music director is likely to work with you, though some music directors may not be able to accommodate the musical instrument you play. Do not be discouraged; instead, look for opportunities to volunteer your time and develop a plan for incorporating your instrument into the musical scheme of the services.
Singers and pianists are in high demand, so if you want to be a church musician and aren’t picky about what instrument you play, learn to play the piano or work on your voice. Some church choirs will teach you how to sing, but others will not, so you may need to take voice lessons to learn how to sing properly. Attend choir practices and learn the songs as quickly as possible if your church offers lessons. Remember that becoming a church musician will require a lot of practice, so plan ahead and set aside enough time during your week to practice with the choir and on your own.
Learning to play the piano takes a long time, and you may need to take years of lessons before becoming a church musician. Even if you already know how to play the piano, you must be prepared to perform in front of the entire congregation, as well as learn the parts of the mass so that you know when to play and when to be silent. Attend church on a regular basis and keep track of the musical selections and when they are performed.