My First Piano Lesson
I’ll never forget my first piano lesson – I was 10 years old and had struck a deal with mum that I would give piano a go for one year…If I didn’t like it I could give it up … But I had to give it a year. I remember being a little nervous because I’d heard stories about old piano teachers with long sticks hitting your knuckles every time you hit a wrong note. I watched from the living room window as my piano teacher arrived …. a young man, in a dark leather jacket riding a motorbike (all good signs according to my 10 year old self) ….. He introduced himself as Bill and asked what sort of music I liked as he sat down at our old upright family piano. I thought about it and said ‘well I suppose a mix of rock and roll and pop music, so artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John’ – he looked at me, smiled and began to play.
Now I can’t recall exactly what song he played, but it was rock and roll and it was pop and it was brilliant. The fingers on his hands moved so fast I could barely see them and he tapped out a rhythm on the floor with his foot as he played. He made our old little upright piano sound like it was a full band and yet he looked as if he was doing the easiest thing in the world. I felt elated, joyful and inspired all at the same time and right from that moment I was hooked. I wanted to learn to play piano like that, to make a piano sound like a whole band. More than that though, I wanted to write songs like the one he played, songs that made others feel just as I had in that one brief yet exceptional moment….
It's amazing how things happen in life almost as if they are meant to be in some way. There have been many other inspirational moments in my life, moments that led me to be the person I am today. However, I can trace my true love and passion for piano music to that first piano lesson.
It was twelve years and a lot of piano practice later, that I walked into a coffee shop in Neutral Bay, Sydney. I had done a few shows and recordings by then, but I didn’t really have much more than a whole bunch of songs, ideas and dreams in my head. It was there I met a woman with long dark hair, sitting in the corner and sipping on a coffee. She introduced herself as Fi and to cut a long story short (Fi tells of how we met in her story) here we are today.