Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01Alistair Mcgowan On Playing The Piano20170718

Impressionist and actor Alistair McGowan describes his attempts to relearn the piano.

As part of the BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the first programme, the impressionist, actor and writer Alistair McGowan describes his attempts to relearn the piano. He started learning as a child but gave it up to play football instead. He tried it again in his 30s but stopped when his TV series "The Big Impression" took over. Then, later on, after a midnight piano lesson on a cruise ship, he began in earnest again and discovered a new world of music-making.

Alistair is fascinated by short pieces in particular. His special favourites are the pieces he heard his mother play and also ones he has discovered on piano courses and through hearing them on the radio. A tiny nugget of Satie, Mompou or John Field carries for him all the weight of human experience and channels a musical history into one small but perfect form.

more info visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

01Get Playing: Alistair Mcgowan On Playing The Piano20160606

As part of the BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the first programme, the impressionist, actor and writer Alistair McGowan describes his attempts to relearn the piano. He started learning as a child but gave it up to play football instead. He tried it again in his 30s but stopped when his TV series "The Big Impression" took over. Then, later on, after a midnight piano lesson on a cruise ship, he began in earnest again and discovered a new world of music-making.

Alistair is fascinated by short pieces in particular. His special favourites are the pieces he heard his mother play and also ones he has discovered on piano courses and through hearing them on the radio. A tiny nugget of Satie, Mompou or John Field carries for him all the weight of human experience and channels a musical history into one small but perfect form.

more info visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

In the first programme, the impressionist, actor and writer Alistair McGowan explains why he loves playing the piano. He started learning as a child but gave it up and it was only a few years ago that he came back to it. Alistair is fascinated by short pieces in particular. A tiny nugget of a Chopin polonaise or a page-long opus by Schumann carries for him all the weight of human experience and channels a musical history into one small but perfect form.

01Get Playing: Alistair Mcgowan On Playing The Piano20160606

As part of the BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the first programme, the impressionist, actor and writer Alistair McGowan explains why he loves playing the piano. He started learning as a child but gave it up and it was only a few years ago that he came back to it. Alistair is fascinated by short pieces in particular. A tiny nugget of a Chopin polonaise or a page-long opus by Schumann carries for him all the weight of human experience and channels a musical history into one small but perfect form.

more info visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying.

In the first programme, the impressionist, actor and writer Alistair McGowan describes his attempts to relearn the piano. He started learning as a child but gave it up to play football instead. He tried it again in his 30s but stopped when his TV series "The Big Impression" took over. Then, later on, after a midnight piano lesson on a cruise ship, he began in earnest again and discovered a new world of music-making.

Alistair is fascinated by short pieces in particular. His special favourites are the pieces he heard his mother play and also ones he has discovered on piano courses and through hearing them on the radio. A tiny nugget of Satie, Mompou or John Field carries for him all the weight of human experience and channels a musical history into one small but perfect form.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

02Get Playing: Joanne Harris On Playing The Flute And Bass Guitar20160607

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the second programme, the award-winning novelist Joanne Harris (best known for her novel "Chocolat") describes how she learned to play the flute as a child. This was followed by the bass guitar which she began after falling in love with a drummer in a band and wanting to join.

When she heard the story told by her grandfather of how he had refused to hand his double bass over to a Nazi soldier in occupied France, the young Joanne Harris realised that a musical instrument could be a powerful force. She began playing herself, first the flute and then, as a 16 year old, the bass guitar. She's continued to play both instruments and is now developing a way of telling stories in performances which incorporates music.

In this Essay, Joanne tells the story of her performing life and considers the way in which music can be an essential part of storytelling.

for more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

02Get Playing: Joanne Harris On Playing The Flute And Bass Guitar20160607

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the second programme, the award-winning novelist Joanne Harris (best known for her novel "Chocolat") describes how she learned to play the flute as a child. This was followed by the bass guitar which she began after falling in love with a drummer in a band and wanting to join.

When she heard the story told by her grandfather of how he had refused to hand his double bass over to a Nazi soldier in occupied France, the young Joanne Harris realised that a musical instrument could be a powerful force. She began playing herself, first the flute and then, as a 16 year old, the bass guitar. She's continued to play both instruments and is now developing a way of telling stories in performances which incorporates music.

In this Essay, Joanne tells the story of her performing life and considers the way in which music can be an essential part of storytelling.

for more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

02Get Playing: Joanne Harris On Playing The Flute And Bass Guitar20170719

Writer Joanne Harris discusses her love of playing the flute and bass guitar.

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the second programme, the award-winning novelist Joanne Harris (best known for her novel "Chocolat") describes how she learned to play the flute as a child. This was followed by the bass guitar which she began after falling in love with a drummer in a band and wanting to join.

When she heard the story told by her grandfather of how he had refused to hand his double bass over to a Nazi soldier in occupied France, the young Joanne Harris realised that a musical instrument could be a powerful force. She began playing herself, first the flute and then, as a 16 year old, the bass guitar. She's continued to play both instruments and is now developing a way of telling stories in performances which incorporates music.

In this Essay, Joanne tells the story of her performing life and considers the way in which music can be an essential part of storytelling.

for more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

03Get Playing: Poet Fiona Sampson On Playing The Violin20160608

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the third programme of the series, the poet Fiona Sampson explores how playing the violin to professional standard in her youth has informed her life and work today.

She relives her youth spent at summer schools and in orchestras and describes playing the violin in the practice rooms at the Royal Academy of Music.

And she describes how the shape that that her body made around the violin stays with her wherever she goes.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

03Get Playing: Poet Fiona Sampson On Playing The Violin20160608

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the third programme of the series, the poet Fiona Sampson explores how playing the violin to professional standard in her youth has informed her life and work today.

She relives her youth spent at summer schools and in orchestras and describes playing the violin in the practice rooms at the Royal Academy of Music.

And she describes how the shape that that her body made around the violin stays with her wherever she goes.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

03Get Playing: Poet Fiona Sampson On Playing The Violin20170726

Poet Fiona Sampson discusses her early life as a violinist.

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the third programme of the series, the poet Fiona Sampson explores how playing the violin to professional standard in her youth has informed her life and work today.

She relives her youth spent at summer schools and in orchestras and describes playing the violin in the practice rooms at the Royal Academy of Music.

And she describes how the shape that that her body made around the violin stays with her wherever she goes.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

04Get Playing: Peter Bradshaw's Electric Guitar20160609

As part of BBC Get Music Playing supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the 4th programme of the series, the Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw describes how he was reunited with his electric guitar, decades after having given it away.

He explores what playing the instrument meant to him as a youngster and assesses how he approaches it now as an adult. He examines the pleasures and pitfalls of relearning an instrument. And he marvels at the beauty of the electric guitar itself.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

04Get Playing: Peter Bradshaw's Electric Guitar20160609

As part of BBC Get Music Playing supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the 4th programme of the series, the Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw describes how he was reunited with his electric guitar, decades after having given it away.

He explores what playing the instrument meant to him as a youngster and assesses how he approaches it now as an adult. He examines the pleasures and pitfalls of relearning an instrument. And he marvels at the beauty of the electric guitar itself.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

04Get Playing: Peter Bradshaw's Electric Guitar20170727

Film critic Peter Bradshaw describes how he was reunited with his electric guitar.

As part of BBC Get Music Playing supporting amateur music making around the UK, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the 4th programme of the series, the Guardian's film critic Peter Bradshaw describes how he was reunited with his electric guitar, decades after having given it away.

He explores what playing the instrument meant to him as a youngster and assesses how he approaches it now as an adult. He examines the pleasures and pitfalls of relearning an instrument. And he marvels at the beauty of the electric guitar itself.

For more information visit bbc.co.uk/getplaying

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

05Get Playing: Alexander Mccall Smith On The Saxophone And The Really Terrible Orchestra20160610

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK this summer, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the final programme of the series, the writer Alexander McCall Smith, author of "The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" describes how he learned to play saxophone which led to him starting The Really Terrible Orchestra.

His career as an amateur saxophonist began with lessons' from his wife's flute teacher and then, during a stay in the US, he began to assemble a collection of saxophones, including a fine bass instrument.

After returning home to Edinburgh, Alexander decided that he should encourage other amateur musicians to play together, no matter what their standard, and the Really Terrible Orchestra was born. In spite of its name, it has performed in concert halls to packed houses.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.

05Get Playing: Alexander Mccall Smith On The Saxophone And The Really Terrible Orchestra20160610

As part of BBC Music Get Playing, supporting amateur music making around the UK this summer, 5 leading writers and artists contribute an Essay in this series, in which they talk about their little-known passions for playing an instrument.

In the final programme of the series, the writer Alexander McCall Smith, author of "The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" describes how he learned to play saxophone which led to him starting The Really Terrible Orchestra.

His career as an amateur saxophonist began with lessons' from his wife's flute teacher and then, during a stay in the US, he began to assemble a collection of saxophones, including a fine bass instrument.

After returning home to Edinburgh, Alexander decided that he should encourage other amateur musicians to play together, no matter what their standard, and the Really Terrible Orchestra was born. In spite of its name, it has performed in concert halls to packed houses.

Producer: Emma Kingsley.