Why it's never too late to learn

The pianist James Rhodes tells Clemency Burton-Hill how anyone can learn to play Bach in six weeks.

Learning & Teaching
01/22/17 04:46:pm

By Clemency Burton-Hill at BBC.com, 10 January 2017

Is it ever too late to learn a musical instrument? According to the leading British concert pianist James Rhodes, the answer is an emphatic ‘no’ - and he has just written the book to prove it. The delightfully straight-talking How To Play the Piano is an elegant little volume that promises - with just 45 minutes’ practice a day, six days a week, for six weeks - to enable anyone with access to a keyboard to play one of JS Bach’s most beloved works, the Prelude no 1 in C major from Book One of The Well-Tempered Clavier.

The book, Rhodes reveals, came from an overwhelming response to his excoriating 2015 memoir Instrumental, which addressed his devastating mental breakdown and the critical role music played in his recovery and redemption. Following its publication, countless readers were moved to tell him they’d been inspired by his words to return to the piano themselves. “I lose track of how many people have said ‘Oh, I used to play when I was a kid, I wish I’d stuck it out,’” he tells me, mentioning one particular email that sparked the idea...

Read the rest of the article at BBC.com