So You Want To Play The Piano?

The piano is a magnificently versatile instrument and great fun to learn, but all the considerations can seem a little overwhelming if you are thinking about taking it up. In “So You Want To Play The Piano?” author Melanie Spanswick covers all concerns and gives advice on:

  • How to find the perfect instrument
  • What to look for in a teacher
  • Things to bear in mind beyond playing the right notes
  • Popular books for beginners
  • Preparing for exams
  • Supporting a child who is learning
  • And much, much more

So You Want To Play The Piano? Is an excellent guide for anyone thinking about the piano as their instrument of choice. Who knows, you could see a pleasant pastime become a lifelong passion!


Book Publication Information

ISBN 978-1-78003-579-6 £11.99

Published by IndePenPress on April 2nd 2013, this most useful book will be available from Amazon, The Book Depository, bookstores, music shops and piano stores – both high street and mail order. There is also an e-book version available via Kindle, Kobo and iTunes


About The Author

Melanie Spanswick is a concert pianist and writer. She studied at the Royal College of Music in London where she won many prizes including the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff prize for ‘the most outstanding postgraduate pianist of the year’, the Sir Arthur Bliss Award and a Leverhulme Trust Scholarship. At the RCM, Melanie obtained a MMus (RCM), GRSM (Hons), ARCM and a Dip RCM. She studied the piano with Patricia Carroll, John Lill and Tatiana Sarkissova and has benefited from master classes by Tatiana Nikolayeva, Melvyn Tan and Geoffrey Parsons.

A busy concert schedule has taken Melanie all around the world performing in Canada, USA, Bermuda, Spain, Gibraltar, Russia, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. Performances in the UK include the South Bank Centre, St John’s Smith Square, Wigmore Hall and CBSO Centre. She has broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Radio 2, CBC Radio, and Swedish and Spanish Television, and has made two solo recordings, ‘Liebestraume’ (2002 for Opera Omnia) and ‘Another Stage’ (2007).

Highlights include performing for the Queen Mother and the Queen and Prince Consort of Denmark, as well as working with conductors, Andrew Constantine and Sir Andrew Davis amongst others. Melanie was the first female pianist to give solo recitals for the Anglo Dutch Piano Platform in both Amsterdam and The Hague, and she has also given a short recital at Tchaikovsky’s House in Klin just outside of Moscow. As an accompanist, she has worked with Opera Interludes, Opera à la Carte and John Amis. Festival appearances have included Cheltenham, Windsor, Southwark, Prussia Cove, Guelph (Ontario, Canada) and the International Liszt Festival in Hamilton (Ontario, Canada). At the Liszt Festival, Melanie performed in the North American premiere of Liszt’s Bunte Reihe.

Melanie has played for numerous concert societies and universities around the UK and has given over 800 solo recitals on luxury cruise liners around the world, frequently appearing on Cunard’s legendary QE2 and QM2. She has been described as a ‘pianist of style and substance’ (Dr Alan Walker, Author of the definitive 3 volume biography of Franz Liszt), ‘Melanie Spanswick draws from the keyboard an unfailingly rich supply of colours’ (Musical Opinion), and ‘a forthright, bold performance’ (The Independent).

Melanie has taught the piano at Reading University, the Royal College of Music Junior Department and Blackheath Conservatoire. She has examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and is an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals.  She is co-founder of the London Piano Salon, a monthly piano soireé set up in London, to enable amateur, semi-professional and professional pianists to perform to one another in a supportive and congenial atmosphere.

The Piano Education Project is a series of video recorded talks which appear on Melanie’s YouTube channel. The Project consists of short vlogs (or video blogs) which focus on studying the piano from the beginning, and an interview series called Classical Conversations, which features established artists (mainly pianists) who talk about their musical education and work. Artists featured so far include Valentina Lisitsa, Nick van Bloss, Alexandra Dariescu, Lucy Parham, Leon McCawley, Noriko Ogawa, Martin Roscoe, Ashley Wass and John Lill.

Melanie regularly writes articles and blogs for various music websites, magazines and newspapers.

For more information visit:  and

Melanie is a Breast Cancer Survivor and she campaigns tirelessly to increase awareness that early diagnosis is vital and also to highlight the healing properties of music.

Press/Media and Further Information

Information about this publication will be fully serviced to all appropriate UK music press and radio. For more details, and to request a review copy and/or an interview request, please contact John Cronin at Music & Media Consulting Limited.

Melanie will be giving a pre-publication talk as part of the upcoming festival “It’s All About Piano!” at the Institut Français in South Kensington, London SW7 – please see

So You Want To Play the Piano - Press Release (89.2 KiB)

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