To be gifted with music … and arthritis

To be gifted with music … and arthritis


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2017

Andrea Avery, a young high school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, has written a tender book about how arthritis hijacked her childhood dreams of being a concert pianist.

She concludes: If I was going to have a life with arthritis in it, I am so glad I have had the piano as my companion. Piano has given me something to reach for with my arthritic hand, some reason not to give up on my fingers…Music has made my arthritic life better. Perhaps I am a better musician than I was or would have been—not despite my arthritis, but because of it. Maybe it takes scars to play Schubert and Chopin correctly.

Read a longer extract here.

Buy the book here.


  • Ellon says:

    Highly recommend her book! Sensitive, witty, expressive–Ms. Avery captures the essence of her struggle with a poet’s [musician’s] ear.