Stroke survivor playing piano again thanks to musical rewrites

Woodford Green man rewrites piano classics for stroke victims

Woodford Green's Peter Jones is releasing reimagined versions of piano classics that can be played one-handed after his friend suffered a stroke in 2018. - Credit: The Stroke Association

A man from Woodford Green has rewritten music to be played one-handed in honour of his pianist friend who suffered a stroke.

Peter Jones, 65, watched on as Peter Ellis was robbed of his beloved hobby after losing the use of his left hand side in 2018.

Despite intensive rehabilitation, the stroke survivor was unable to regain the use of his affected side and had resigned himself to a life without piano.

After learning of this, the Woodford Green resident began adding annotations to famous works by Johann Sebastian Bach in the hope of helping his friend.

Woodford Green pianist to release copies of one-handed music for stroke survivors

After seeing his friend play piano again, the Woodford Green resident will release copies of his music to be given to stroke survivors free of charge. - Credit: The Stroke Association

He said: "The beauty of this particular Bach music is that it is so complete that it can be played with one hand. It doesn’t need the other hand for harmony.

"I have therefore put in the notations and fingerings for the right hand, and also for the left hand in a separate book.”

This ingenuity has given Peter his hobby back, something which felt inconceivable two years ago.

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He said: "I was in a sorry state after my stroke – emotionally, physically and spiritually.

"I felt totally exposed and vulnerable and couldn’t even do regular tasks, let alone hobbies like gardening and playing the piano.

“When Peter mentioned what he was sending me, the thought of going back to play piano was amazing. I am still trying to get my single-handed playing in place, it’s rather like going back to the beginning and taking lessons again."

Despite feeling like something of a beginner, the gravity of simply being able to play again has made its mark.

He added: “Playing piano again stirs up real emotions for me when I had been given no hope that I would ever be able to play again.”

Stroke victim can play piano again after gesture from Woodford Green pal

Until recently Peter Ellis had been unable to enjoy his hobby due to the stroke he suffered, but thanks to the kind act of a friend can now do what he loves again. - Credit: The Stroke Association

Seeing the impact on his friend has made Peter Jones want to extend this gesture far and wide. He has committed to giving free copies of his rewritten music to any stroke survivor with a love for piano. 

Through this he aims to show that piano is still possible for stroke victims.

To request a book, please email barnabaspandc@gmail.com with the relevant details.

For further information and support, visit stroke.org.uk.

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