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The difference between the piano lessons Noah Adams took and the ones most of us took was that he was 51, not 7, and -- lucky Noah -- his mother didn't make him practice. This is not only a delightful account of his twelve-month nose-to-the-grindstone attempt to learn to play the $11,000 Steinway he bought on a whim, but also the story of his many-year process of falling in love with music and its history. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"It is my dream, when I touch the keys, to release the notes. It is music waiting there," writes Adams in this delightful recreation of the year he recently spent trying to learn to play the piano and, most specifically, trying to master Robert Schumann's Traumerei. The experience may have been frustrating for the author, but he is such an unself-conscious raconteur that he catches the reader's sympathy and amusement at his befuddlement as to why he, a 51-year-old, would be so foolhardy as to suddenly spend $11,375 for an instrument he neither knows how to play nor, given the pressures of his job as host of NPR's All Things Considered, has time to practice. Figuring that he has only 20 minutes a day to devote to activities unrelated to his work, he sets out to become a pianist, first studying with a computer program, then a sight-reading system on tapes and finally, in the most captivating episode here, at a 10-day adult music school in Vermont run by the family of the saleswoman who sold him his Steinway. Adams interrupts his practice sessions throughout the book to reminisce about pianists he admires, educate us about keyboard instruments, tell us about his domestic life with his wife, Neenah, and about his job and related travels. At year's end he feels confident enough to play the Schumann for his wife as a Christmas present. A piece Horowitz could play in two minutes and 32 seconds Adams needs 20 minutes to complete. No matter, for his performance brings his audience of readers to its feet with shouts of "Bravo!"
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Since I'm in my forties and just bought a digital piano to learn and play music for the first time in my life, I thought it would be interesting to read this book for some tips and... Read morePublished on July 11 2003 by kyara
An awful book. A preening book. A silly & self-satisfied book.
Adams spends most of it avoiding his piano; attending twee
little piano workshops, fussing with some... Read more
I was interested in reading the book becasue I recently returned to playing the piano after 30 years and I thought it would be fun to read someone else's experience on the trials... Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2002 by West Coast Piano Player
Noah Adams has captured the soul of learning to play the piano, and in so doing has answered his own question: Why does a fifty-one-year-old man suddenly decide he has to have a... Read morePublished on March 31 2002 by Ann Haley
mr. adams book was a sad disappointment to this adult beginner piano player. his chapters follow the calendar year beginning with the purchase of an expensive piano. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2002 by Virginia L. Butterworth
Like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance this book isn't as much about Piano Lessons as it is a life lived during a period of the author's learning music as an adult. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2001 by Conuschiro
What a wonderful, uplifting, book! Having begun playing the piano again after nearly 40 years away from it, I found myself enjoying Noah Adams descriptions of his joys and... Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2001 by Lucinda Burr
This book is about Noah Adams' decision to purchase a Steinway and learn to play. This is not a how-to book, but it will provide inspiration to the adult beginner, and it will... Read morePublished on June 21 2001 by Carol C.
After reading most of the reviews, it seems that people had different expectations of the book and sometimes read it for the wrong purpose. I don't believe Mr. Read morePublished on May 20 2001 by Marianne