Gary’s Naked Piano Story…

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Piano Image

  1. without the usual covering or protection
  2. devoid of concealment or disguise
  3. having no covering; bare; exposed

We are naked, you and I, when we dare to express ourselves. When we boldly go where no one has gone before. The Naked Piano represents a journey – a heroic and spiritual journey – from who we are today, to who we want to be… I hope my story inspires you…

I’m a passionate creator of music – exposing my emotions and innermost feelings in every note, every song, every album. The piano has become the conduit for my voice, but it hasn’t always been that way…

My story begins as a ‘normal’, curious kid. There were no musicians in my family. No piano for me to tinker with. When I was 10, I had an epiphany when I heard my friend play piano at a birthday party. It was like a lightning bolt to my heart. I HAD to learn to play! I pestered my parents until they finally bought me a piano (a ‘junkyard’ blue upright they got at a flea market for $50 – not an insignificant amount for a working class family).

Next came piano lessons…. and I was the worst in class – by far. So, let it be known, I was not born with special ‘piano-playing’ genes. Nope – far from it. But I kept playing, kept practicing. I loved it. And then, an event that probably changed everything. I got incredibly sick with bacterial meningitis and slipped into a coma. I received the last rites – quite literally on my ‘death bed’.

Miraculously, I made it through and recovered. However, something inside had changed. I had decided to focus my life on my love for piano. First step – I decided to audition for the music department. The music professors laughed at me (yes, they literally laughed). I just didn’t have the “classical training” they required…

After college, I traveled through Europe with a battery operated keyboard, worked at a Steinway store, played anywhere they would let me – and in general drifted through a ‘musicians lifestyle’. Then, I met my mentor – a Berklee Piano professor who gave me the tools I needed to continue my journey. My practice and writing became deliberate. And finally, I had enough original material for an album. It was here I decided to take the final plunge – to create a piece of art I could share with the world. The year was 2004 – the first Naked Piano album was released.

Today, I continue to practice (and learn) everyday. I have a different perspective now, and my technique continues to improve, however my love and joy of playing and writing are constant. The Naked Piano tells stories of struggle, achievement, joy, pain, sorrow and love – everything one experiences in life is here. I have no disguise – I’m not trying to conceal anything from you. I’m exposing myself through this beautiful and timeless instrument. My sincerest wish is the Naked Piano will inspire you – to do something remarkable, to persevere when all odds are against you – but most importantly to LIVE.

“When no one’s home, you’ll find me at my piano.” – Gary Girouard, March 2013

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