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BOOK REVIEW: Playing From The Heart by Peter H Reynolds

| 20 May 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Playing From The Heart by Peter H Reynolds

Walker Books
April 2016
Paperback, $19.99
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Picture Book


Playing From The Heart - Peter H Reynolds

I’m torn about this book.

In simple text and gorgeously detailed illustrations, it tells the simple story of young Raj, who playfully tinkles away at the unused family piano, prompting his Dad to hire a music teacher for the boy. Raj grows up learning to play properly but eventually gives the lessons away as exhausting.

When he hears his father is ill he returns to his childhood home, where his ailing Dad asks him to play a song on the old piano. Raj returns to his lessons, but no – Dad wants to hear the song without a name that he made up as a kid. Dad drifts away as Raj plays “from the heart.”

Is Reynolds saying, don’t do lessons and train at something to become better? That natural talent should be nurtured and formal study avoided? That you should give up on a passion because hard work is involved?

I think he’s saying that playing something from the heart is always going to mean more than playing off the page, but I don’t think he has got his point across very well at all, and any clever young adult or even pre-teen would be able to use this book as an excuse to get out of lessons rather work hard to achieve more.

Category: Book Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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