The road to becoming an accomplished musician starts at a very early age and involves rigorous study and training. For the singer, training begins when the voice matures. And it never ends. Most other musicians start to play their instruments very early in their lives.
Talent, persistence and excellent mentors are the keys to becoming a good musician. Because live audiences and auditions are a fact of life for musicians seeking to establish a reputation or find a niche, they must be able to deal with their anxieties and deliver a quality performance in front of any number of people. Musicians face rejection some time, but the most disciplined maintains confidence in their abilities; they can never allow themselves to become complacent if success is the goal.
Self-discipline is vital to the success of any musician, so practice and rehearsals continue to take up the greater part of the day. Working as part of a team is essential. One should learn to respect accompanists; they are artistes in their own right. One should also learn to accept criticism in the right spirit. Music is an expression of an emotion and there is bound to be more than one reaction to a concert, and not all reactions could be flattering. One should know how to take bouquets and brickbats with equanimity. A friendly and easy personality goes a long way in establishing and maintaining contacts.
Some musicians enter into private study with a highly reputed 'guruji' under the guru shishya parampara, while others pursue a formal training programme at a college or university, gaining a degree in music or music education.
Major universities in India offer a Bachelor's degree after successful completion of the standard 12 or an equivalent, which is five years long. There are facilities available for post graduation too, which is a two-year course.
Almost every state has institutions for professional training in music. Some of the institutions are recognised or are affiliated to recognised bodies such as the Prayag Sangeet Samiti in Allahabad.
The Department of Culture (under the Ministry of Human Resource Department) awards scholarships for advanced training to deserving candidates. Besides, private bodies too aid
through scholarships for advanced training in music.