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Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play the piano.  The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in an Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play the piano.  The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in and buys a piano--through December, when as a surprise Christmas present for his wife he dresses in a tuxedo and, in flickering candlelight, snow falling outside the windows, he attempts their favorite piece of music, a difficult third-year composition he's been struggling with in secret to get to this very moment. Among the up-tempo triumphs and unexpected setbacks, Noah Adams interweaves the rich history and folklore that surround the piano.  And along the way, set between the ragtime rhythms and boogie-woogie beats, there are encounters with--and insights from--masters of the keyboard, from Glenn Gould and Leon Fleisher ("I was a bit embarrassed," he writes; "telling Leon Fleisher about my ambitions for piano lessons is like telling Julia Child about plans to make toast in the morning") to Dr. John and Tori Amos. As a storyteller, Noah Adams has perfect pitch.  In the foreground here, like a familiar melody, are the challenges of learning a complex new skill as an adult, when enthusiasm meets the necessary repetition of tedious scales at the end of a twelve-hour workday.  Lingering in the background, like a subtle bass line, are the quiet concerns of how we spend our time and how our priorities shift as we proceed through life.  For Piano Lessons is really an adventure story filled with obstacles to overcome and grand leaps forward, eccentric geniuses and quiet moments of pre-dawn practice, as Noah Adams travels across country and keyboard, pursuing his dream and keeping the rhythm.


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Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play the piano.  The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in an Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play the piano.  The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in and buys a piano--through December, when as a surprise Christmas present for his wife he dresses in a tuxedo and, in flickering candlelight, snow falling outside the windows, he attempts their favorite piece of music, a difficult third-year composition he's been struggling with in secret to get to this very moment. Among the up-tempo triumphs and unexpected setbacks, Noah Adams interweaves the rich history and folklore that surround the piano.  And along the way, set between the ragtime rhythms and boogie-woogie beats, there are encounters with--and insights from--masters of the keyboard, from Glenn Gould and Leon Fleisher ("I was a bit embarrassed," he writes; "telling Leon Fleisher about my ambitions for piano lessons is like telling Julia Child about plans to make toast in the morning") to Dr. John and Tori Amos. As a storyteller, Noah Adams has perfect pitch.  In the foreground here, like a familiar melody, are the challenges of learning a complex new skill as an adult, when enthusiasm meets the necessary repetition of tedious scales at the end of a twelve-hour workday.  Lingering in the background, like a subtle bass line, are the quiet concerns of how we spend our time and how our priorities shift as we proceed through life.  For Piano Lessons is really an adventure story filled with obstacles to overcome and grand leaps forward, eccentric geniuses and quiet moments of pre-dawn practice, as Noah Adams travels across country and keyboard, pursuing his dream and keeping the rhythm.

30 review for Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Brown

    Ah, seeing the current rating of this book saddens me. -_-; It doesn't however suprise me. "Pianos Lessons" is one of those books that speaks to specific type of reader: the kind that is going through the same thing OR someone like myself that loves the piano with the greatest of passions. I truly would give this book five stars for just the passage at the beginning of the book were he describes Traumerei so passionately. This book is bound to be overlooked by most people, as it targets a very li Ah, seeing the current rating of this book saddens me. -_-; It doesn't however suprise me. "Pianos Lessons" is one of those books that speaks to specific type of reader: the kind that is going through the same thing OR someone like myself that loves the piano with the greatest of passions. I truly would give this book five stars for just the passage at the beginning of the book were he describes Traumerei so passionately. This book is bound to be overlooked by most people, as it targets a very limited audience. Basically, if you don't have passion for the piano, this book won't touch you the way it has me or any of the other readers that rated it five stars. (It also might be daunting if you have a limited knowledge of Jazz, Blues or Classical Music.) PLEASE: if you love the piano, read this piece! It is truly amazing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tom Franklin

    Piano Lessons is less about learning how to play the piano as it is lessons learned through the piano. The book is comprised of snippets from a year-long meditation on the piano -- the decision to learn how to play (and purchase) the piano; how to learn to play; the on-again-off-again love of practicing; setting goals; going to a week-long "piano camp"; etc. And because this was written by Noah Adams (former NPR correspondent) it all works. Adam's written voice is very much like his spoken voice Piano Lessons is less about learning how to play the piano as it is lessons learned through the piano. The book is comprised of snippets from a year-long meditation on the piano -- the decision to learn how to play (and purchase) the piano; how to learn to play; the on-again-off-again love of practicing; setting goals; going to a week-long "piano camp"; etc. And because this was written by Noah Adams (former NPR correspondent) it all works. Adam's written voice is very much like his spoken voice reading his own copy. It's measured and honest, with a hint of the poetic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chad Jordahl

    Charming memoir. The writing flows so smoothly, and the story mostly held my interest. There are a few sections where is drags a bit.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brads

    This book was as tedious as practicing an instrument for which you have no passion and no talent. In contrast to "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank", this book spends very little time talking about the love of music. Organizationally, the first three quarters of the book are cluttered with stream of consciousness ramblings about what is happening in his life as he ponders learning Traumerei by Schumann (not a beginner's piece). There is little or no warning of subject shifts, sort of like driving o This book was as tedious as practicing an instrument for which you have no passion and no talent. In contrast to "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank", this book spends very little time talking about the love of music. Organizationally, the first three quarters of the book are cluttered with stream of consciousness ramblings about what is happening in his life as he ponders learning Traumerei by Schumann (not a beginner's piece). There is little or no warning of subject shifts, sort of like driving on the Interstate in Utah. I was left bewildered and confused. As far as the subject is concerned, I just couldn't understand the author's point of view. He wants to learn to play music, but he doesn't seem to want to do it on the piano's terms; he wants to do it on his. Learning any skill or talent involved hard work, lots of time and a good teacher. He was not willing to devote any of these, at least initially. Strangely, there is no moment of epiphone where he realizes that he has been doing it all wrong. We are left to try and sift this nugget of information from the useless information of trips to Ireland, feeding the dogs, and weekends spent sailing. The only thing that kept me from skipping to the end was the shortness of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    My piano teacher gave me this book, partly because Adams' quest to play one piece really well on piano mirrors my own and as a way to inspire me, I think. Which it did, if only as a source of commiseration. Adams' journey into learning piano as an adult is good when it's on point, focusing on his struggle to learn from computers and seminars and finally teachers as well as dipping into the NPR status well and interviewing a number of famous piano players. The research is good too, with lots of l My piano teacher gave me this book, partly because Adams' quest to play one piece really well on piano mirrors my own and as a way to inspire me, I think. Which it did, if only as a source of commiseration. Adams' journey into learning piano as an adult is good when it's on point, focusing on his struggle to learn from computers and seminars and finally teachers as well as dipping into the NPR status well and interviewing a number of famous piano players. The research is good too, with lots of light history and amusing anecdotes for piano nerds. But too often it drifts off into unrelated tangents, slowly circling back to piano, and then goes nuts and races for the finish line, glossing over the stuff that I wanted more of. I'd recommend The Piano Shop on the Left Bank as a more satisfying, if slightly less amusingly befuddled take.

  6. 4 out of 5

    msjoonee

    This is the story of a man who really wanted to learn how to play the piano. It's funny, it's touching, it's inspiring and above all, it's true. I'm a piano teacher and whenever I have new adult students, i recommend this book. All too often, as adults we put undue pressure on ourselves to achieve results immediately and get really frustrated when we don't. Learning how to play the piano is an exercise in patience and taking your time and, as Noah Adams so kindly reminds us, should be something This is the story of a man who really wanted to learn how to play the piano. It's funny, it's touching, it's inspiring and above all, it's true. I'm a piano teacher and whenever I have new adult students, i recommend this book. All too often, as adults we put undue pressure on ourselves to achieve results immediately and get really frustrated when we don't. Learning how to play the piano is an exercise in patience and taking your time and, as Noah Adams so kindly reminds us, should be something that ultimately give you joy. Chances are you will find yourself wanting to go back to lessons after reading this book! :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rick McNeely

    An absolutely wonderful work of someone learning a new discipline late in life. Not weenie, self-absorbed or boring, like works in this genre often are. Inspirational, classy, and just a really fun read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    An earnest story of a year of learning to play the piano. The book inspired me to get back to the piano with more seriousness, to challenge myself more, perhaps to make a journey for myself on my beloved instrument.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    I like listening to Noah Adams on NPR, and likewise his story of learning to play piano as and adult. I also enjoyed his description of his relationship with his wife. He seems like a great guy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mona

    If you are one who have given up in your musical learning, there's a chance you might want to pick it up again after reading this book. If you are one who have given up in your musical learning, there's a chance you might want to pick it up again after reading this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chron Dailey

    Noah Adams, at age fifty-one, decides to learn to play piano. Does he rent or borrow a piano, maybe buy a used piano, take lessons, go to a class, set aside an hour every day to play? No. No, no, and no. He does everything wrong, backward, upside down and sideways. He buys a ridiculously expensive piano before he even knows where middle C is (I exaggerate slightly - he actually does know where middle C was at this point, but not much more). He buys expensive computer teaching software and practic Noah Adams, at age fifty-one, decides to learn to play piano. Does he rent or borrow a piano, maybe buy a used piano, take lessons, go to a class, set aside an hour every day to play? No. No, no, and no. He does everything wrong, backward, upside down and sideways. He buys a ridiculously expensive piano before he even knows where middle C is (I exaggerate slightly - he actually does know where middle C was at this point, but not much more). He buys expensive computer teaching software and practices on the cheesy-sounding keyboard that goes with it. He practices sporadically, and rarely on the new piano. He buys another course by mail that stresses chords and faking although he actually wants to learn to play classical music. He sets as his goal a Schumann piece that even third-year students find challenging. He spends more money to attend a ten-day piano camp. Piano camp! Adams took piano lessons as a boy, but he'd been an indifferent student and hadn't kept at it. Unfortunately it's not like riding a bicycle and he remembers virtually nothing of what he had once known. He has to start from the beginning. In spite of doing practically everything wrong, he eventually overcomes his own poor judgment, tosses the computer software and mail order course, sets aside some time every day to practice and after about a year, learns the song he'd set as his goal. Imagine that - you can do it all wrong and still achieve your goals. Adams relates his mistakes, not seeming to realize what a mess he was making of it, but at the end, admits that he might have gone about it differently. It's an inspiring story in spite of everything. I was curious about whether he's still playing piano. The year he writes about was 1993, so it would be nice to know that he still plays and has learned tons of music since that first difficult year. But you know, it doesn't matter. Even if he only played for one year and learned the one song, he had a great experience and learned a lot about himself. And he got a good book out of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Piper

    Adams always wanted to learn to play the piano. It isn't until he is 51 that he finally does something about it. Beginning in January and proceeding month by month he opens the world of pianos to us. Pianos of all kinds, each with its unique personality. He interviews pianists and piano makers while beginning lessons online. And as he talks to pianists, great ones, he picks up techniques. For example, you play the piano with your whole body rather than just with your fingers. Let your hand roll Adams always wanted to learn to play the piano. It isn't until he is 51 that he finally does something about it. Beginning in January and proceeding month by month he opens the world of pianos to us. Pianos of all kinds, each with its unique personality. He interviews pianists and piano makers while beginning lessons online. And as he talks to pianists, great ones, he picks up techniques. For example, you play the piano with your whole body rather than just with your fingers. Let your hand roll with the chord. He determines that by December, he'll be able to play Traumerei, despite being told it takes beginners two or three years to learn it. Adams goes off on tangents, which makes me wonder how this relates to piano playing. He talks of his work as host of National Public Radio's All Things Considered. He often speaks of his wife, Neena, her activities. And it's clear that they are buddies. I love that kind of relationship between husband and wife. Somehow, despite these tangents, he swings back to piano playing. I figure the reasons for this extra activity is to show us he has a life beyond pianos. The playing has to squeeze in, although from time to time it's squeezed out. So, does he reach his goal by year's end? That's up to the reader to discover. But I must say that as I read, I gravitated more and more to my piano.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Annab

    This was an enjoyable read of one person's experience of learning the piano as an older adult. This books shows that as one gets older, priorities change and old interests and passions become more important. Really, how do you want to the spend the last decade (or two) of your life. In the case of Noah (like me), he wants to play the piano! I can relate to EVERYTHING he says about the process -- the initial joy, the unavoidable disappoint, the frustration, the self-doubt, and eventual defeat tha This was an enjoyable read of one person's experience of learning the piano as an older adult. This books shows that as one gets older, priorities change and old interests and passions become more important. Really, how do you want to the spend the last decade (or two) of your life. In the case of Noah (like me), he wants to play the piano! I can relate to EVERYTHING he says about the process -- the initial joy, the unavoidable disappoint, the frustration, the self-doubt, and eventual defeat that leaves that piano un-played and his soul's call unanswered. There are a number of things I liked in Noah's story as he takes this musical challenge over a year -- (1) the use of the Miracle System (essentially a video game that teaches piano technique) where he intends to teach himself the piano in his private (and safe) home office, (2) his trials and tribulation at the "piano camp" (where he finally had to play in front of an audience) and discovers that formal lessons with a teacher might be a good idea, and (3) life with a piano in a small and humid home office. But in essence, this is a story of a husband who wants to play "Traumerei" to his wife and everything he is willing to do to make that happen. His story takes the practice of the piano on a new level, beyond personal achievement and into the realm of sharing -- just where music is meant to be.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Lamb

    I savored this one. Noah Adams bared his soul in a personal quest to become a pianist. His non fiction work amounts to a 12 month testimonial journey that any person could identify with. What I enjoyed most was Adams's honesty. His writing style and story telling ability made his musical journey feel accessible. As a child, I was the victim of piano scales and sheet music, which nearly left me a permanent listener of music rather than a participant. I was pleased to read Adams's discoveries and I savored this one. Noah Adams bared his soul in a personal quest to become a pianist. His non fiction work amounts to a 12 month testimonial journey that any person could identify with. What I enjoyed most was Adams's honesty. His writing style and story telling ability made his musical journey feel accessible. As a child, I was the victim of piano scales and sheet music, which nearly left me a permanent listener of music rather than a participant. I was pleased to read Adams's discoveries and revelations about music theory to be similar to those which I too was fortunate enough to discover before giving up. The magic of music is in the beauty that comes of engaging with it. Please read and let yourself become inspired. Though I've been a banjo player of late, I've pulled out an old two page copy of Schumann's "Traumerie" to test out on our recently tuned piano. The muscle memory hasn't returned, but the passion is still there. I think I'll be playing it again by Christmas. Thanks Noah for the wonderful slice of well needed inspiration!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    I picked this up for a dollar at the public library’s sale section. Glad I did. It is charming and I imagine this would be a great for anyone without a lot of musical experience. Mr. Adams has always loved music and hasn’t played since some childhood lessons that didn’t go anywhere. Then he decides to buy a piano and learn to play. I have been playing since the age of nine, a good 37 years, so to watch an adult take to the piano in this way was quite enjoyable. It also helped to rekindle in me a I picked this up for a dollar at the public library’s sale section. Glad I did. It is charming and I imagine this would be a great for anyone without a lot of musical experience. Mr. Adams has always loved music and hasn’t played since some childhood lessons that didn’t go anywhere. Then he decides to buy a piano and learn to play. I have been playing since the age of nine, a good 37 years, so to watch an adult take to the piano in this way was quite enjoyable. It also helped to rekindle in me a passion for music that had gone a bit stale in recent years. My piano had gone untouched for many months until reading this book. Now it’s back in my life. Thank you, Mr. Adams. My favorite chapter was on the weeklong piano camp. I just like how accepting everyone there was. Plus I’m not gonna lie, the idea of just leaving my daily life behind and just playing piano and socializing with other other piano players for a full week just sounds incredibly appealing. I really enjoyed this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sherilyn

    This book is divided into chapters by months. I got to September... so close to the end, but I just couldn't keep going. Nothing pulled me forward. The book just wasn't what I had thought it would be. No true piano lessons, just some electronic garbage lessons on an electronic keyboard even though he had purchased an upright Steinway in February! This was just not my jam. BUT THEN-- his surprise boat purchase for wife Neenah in September lured me back in and by October he was taking lessons with This book is divided into chapters by months. I got to September... so close to the end, but I just couldn't keep going. Nothing pulled me forward. The book just wasn't what I had thought it would be. No true piano lessons, just some electronic garbage lessons on an electronic keyboard even though he had purchased an upright Steinway in February! This was just not my jam. BUT THEN-- his surprise boat purchase for wife Neenah in September lured me back in and by October he was taking lessons with real teachers on real pianos at a retreat, perhaps not your orthodox lessons, but intriguing and interesting. Though I finished reading through December - the end of the book -and am happy to say I did, I'm not positive I would recommend this one. There was enough here to keep me interested on and off, but as far as what I thought the book was going to be, it didn't fit the bill.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Keith Wheeles

    I loved this quick read written by the host of NPR's 'All Things Considered'. Like me, the author finds a passion for the piano late in life (51 for him, 62 for me). The shared experience made me laugh at points, but I found the whole book inspiring. A similar book, 'Play It Again', has the same topic as well as very good writing, but that author is a lapsed piano player who has remained immersed in music throughout his life - so he comes to the keyboard with some skills. In this book, the autho I loved this quick read written by the host of NPR's 'All Things Considered'. Like me, the author finds a passion for the piano late in life (51 for him, 62 for me). The shared experience made me laugh at points, but I found the whole book inspiring. A similar book, 'Play It Again', has the same topic as well as very good writing, but that author is a lapsed piano player who has remained immersed in music throughout his life - so he comes to the keyboard with some skills. In this book, the author is more like me in having an appreciation for music but being an absolute novice at the keyboard. Oddly, given the title, the author does not take regular piano lessons (he does seek out a few doses of instruction and attends a week long piano camp).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ginny

    Published in 1997, this year-in-the-life story is set pre-9/11 and certainly has that feeling. The books and movies mentioned seem like from a lifetime ago. But the passion for playing the piano is so real. How many people have you heard say “I wish I could play piano!” And if you know sheet music, you’ll know the pieces Noah Adams wants to play. I play piano strictly for my own personal enjoyment, so I could understand the passion of learning and the satisfaction of music played well. As he tak Published in 1997, this year-in-the-life story is set pre-9/11 and certainly has that feeling. The books and movies mentioned seem like from a lifetime ago. But the passion for playing the piano is so real. How many people have you heard say “I wish I could play piano!” And if you know sheet music, you’ll know the pieces Noah Adams wants to play. I play piano strictly for my own personal enjoyment, so I could understand the passion of learning and the satisfaction of music played well. As he takes you along on his musical journey, you also get to listen in on some of his interviews. My favorite comes at the end of the book—-Lorie Line! I love her style. She’s such a Rock Star.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca L.

    I really enjoyed all of the piano history and the stories the author shared about interviewing famous musicians: however, this book was incredibly frustrating for me to read. The author is wealthy enough to afford a Steinway piano (something I would love to have but will probably never be able to afford) and then instead of practicing, for the majority of the book, he spends his time sailing and thinking of reasons NOT to practice. I guess it was good he made so many mistakes along his piano jou I really enjoyed all of the piano history and the stories the author shared about interviewing famous musicians: however, this book was incredibly frustrating for me to read. The author is wealthy enough to afford a Steinway piano (something I would love to have but will probably never be able to afford) and then instead of practicing, for the majority of the book, he spends his time sailing and thinking of reasons NOT to practice. I guess it was good he made so many mistakes along his piano journey because now maybe his readers won’t have to make those same mistakes. In the end, if you want to learn piano (or any instrument) you have to practice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rosebud

    I picked this up in a book shop while traveling but had not read it. I picked it up, loving the premise of the author year-long experience of learning to play the piano in his early 50s. I must say I was a bit disappointed, as I expected more from a music lover. I did enjoy reading of his experiences at a week-long music school he attended in Maine. I thought of doing that several years ago. It was also interesting that his focus was on learning Schumann's Scenes from an Early Childhood, which h I picked this up in a book shop while traveling but had not read it. I picked it up, loving the premise of the author year-long experience of learning to play the piano in his early 50s. I must say I was a bit disappointed, as I expected more from a music lover. I did enjoy reading of his experiences at a week-long music school he attended in Maine. I thought of doing that several years ago. It was also interesting that his focus was on learning Schumann's Scenes from an Early Childhood, which happens to be one of Jim's favorite pieces.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Izzie

    Pleasant memoir of a year in the life of Noah Adams, a radio interviewer on NPR All Things Considered. He loves all things ‘piano’ and begins the year by shopping for and buying a Steinway upright. During the rest of the year he meanders through some attempts to learn how to play the instrument, ultimately ending up at a piano camp in Vermont that makes the difference. Throughout there are conversations and vignettes related to the piano and his life. Nice ending. I had Schumann’s Träumerai runn Pleasant memoir of a year in the life of Noah Adams, a radio interviewer on NPR All Things Considered. He loves all things ‘piano’ and begins the year by shopping for and buying a Steinway upright. During the rest of the year he meanders through some attempts to learn how to play the instrument, ultimately ending up at a piano camp in Vermont that makes the difference. Throughout there are conversations and vignettes related to the piano and his life. Nice ending. I had Schumann’s Träumerai running through my head through most of my reading of this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ann Oconnell

    I loved this book! The frustrations of learning the piano as an adult, from choosing which piano to purchase and trying various methods was not only frustrating, but enlightening, (and hilarious at times), especially when attempted by a well known radio personality. Probably not for everyone, but certainly for anyone who has struggled with this endeavor. As a lover of the piano, I found it to be a real page turner.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

    It's a cute book, probably most effective for people like Adams--adults who decide to try and learn an instrument later in life. As a musician, I found his journey to be charming, though his musical discussions somewhat basic & rudimentary. His experience with music just didn't seem as "high stakes" as I think career musicians find it (or as I would found most interesting). However, the book does serve a good purpose. It's a cute book, probably most effective for people like Adams--adults who decide to try and learn an instrument later in life. As a musician, I found his journey to be charming, though his musical discussions somewhat basic & rudimentary. His experience with music just didn't seem as "high stakes" as I think career musicians find it (or as I would found most interesting). However, the book does serve a good purpose.

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Miraldi

    Knowing about my lifelong love of the piano, a friend gave me this book about a year ago. I began reading it and then set it down at the midway point when other books took center stage. I finally returned to it. It is a very enjoyable book that chronicles the author's determined effort to devote a year to learn to play the piano with its misstarts and ultimate successes. Woven through the book are many interesting tidbits about pianos and various piano artists. Knowing about my lifelong love of the piano, a friend gave me this book about a year ago. I began reading it and then set it down at the midway point when other books took center stage. I finally returned to it. It is a very enjoyable book that chronicles the author's determined effort to devote a year to learn to play the piano with its misstarts and ultimate successes. Woven through the book are many interesting tidbits about pianos and various piano artists.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Otto

    As host of NPR's All Things Considered, Noah Adams was able to bring the breadth of his research on pianists, piano technique, piano folklore, and musical genres to the intimacy of his personal account of attempting to learn to play the piano in his fifty-second year. As an amateur pianist, I found the book both informative and heartwarming. As host of NPR's All Things Considered, Noah Adams was able to bring the breadth of his research on pianists, piano technique, piano folklore, and musical genres to the intimacy of his personal account of attempting to learn to play the piano in his fifty-second year. As an amateur pianist, I found the book both informative and heartwarming.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hartley

    Didn’t meet my exceptions and certainly didn’t hold a candle to other books of a similar theme (like the excellent “The Piano shop on the West Bank”). Strayed too far off topic too frequently and I found myself skipping over pages when they weren’t about music.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pollie

    Pretty fascinating to read about his foray into the world of piano! I got a lot of insight and tips on pianos, composers, methods of teaching and most importantly the terror of performing at a recital that I know all too well. I’d like to read this one again soon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    I love Noah Adams' writing style and I love listening to him on NPR. The voice in the books is the same voice as is on the radio. He's clear, honest, direct. He tells a story and tells it well. I love Noah Adams' writing style and I love listening to him on NPR. The voice in the books is the same voice as is on the radio. He's clear, honest, direct. He tells a story and tells it well.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hollis Fishelson-holstine

    absolutely loved this. mostly because if my own similar journey but because of his lovely writing style, his love of his wife, his wide-ranging references to music and musicians

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Light anectodal reading when you want a break from serious piano study.

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