How learning to play the piano can save your life

The pianist James Rhodes wants to teach everyone to play the piano in six weeks. Watch him tell Clemency Burton-Hill why in the video above.

“It inspires you, it grows your imagination, it nourishes you in places that go beneath words and beneath pictures and images… it’s something that kind of polishes your soul.”

In his first book, the harrowing memoir Instrumental, the concert pianist James Rhodes made clear the role that music played in saving his life.

- Video: How to learn to play the piano in six weeks

For his second book, How to Play the Piano, Rhodes decided to pass on a short-cut to his readers; creating a guide that would enable anyone – whether they had learned the instrument before or not – to play a well-known Bach prelude in six weeks. “It’s deceptively simple, and there are so many ways you can play it,” he enthuses of the piece.

And for Rhodes, the daily ritual of playing the piano provides a form of invaluable solace: “Anything creative, writing, painting, but for me it’s the piano, it’s a way of going inside of us, going inside and really listening to ourselves, and it’s a form of meditation,” he explains. Watch the video above to find out more.

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