Top 10 Blind Piano Players You Should Know About 2020

Top 10 Blind Piano Players

Learning how to play the piano is no easy task. Even the best of musicians will tell you that it took them weeks before they could master how to place and move their hands and months or even years before they finally perfected their playing skills. Some people even give up altogether and try to look out for other instruments that might be a bit “easier” to play. Now, imagine a handicap like says a blind person trying to learn how to play the piano! Someone who can neither see nor read music. This all sounds difficult but crazy enough, we have lots of blind people out there some with even better skills than you and I. How in the world did they manage to achieve this? Well, it all just takes hard work. Lots of hard work. In this article, we will tell you about the top 10 blind piano who probably have finer skills than yours but first, how did they learn to play the piano in the first place?

How Blind people learn to play the Piano

According to multiple pieces of research, individuals born without a certain type of sense or the ones who lose a particular sense usually tend to have the sharpness of the other senses more heightened than other people. This is to mean that if someone is, for instance, blind, they’ll probably have a sharper sense of hearing to help in compensating for the blindness. This gives them an extra edge to learn some skills that needed vision through hearing. In this case, instead of seeing and reading music, blind people tend to learn by listening to the music. Yes, this sounds insane and very difficult to do. Their sense of touch also comes into play to assist in working with the ears to deliver magnificent performances.

Technology has utilized information from such researches in coming up with learning tools and instruments that assist blind people even further. As you can see, therefore, it is not shocking that a blind person can outshine you in a concert. This also serves as a motivation for anyone out there with a blind kid, relative or friend. It’s almost evident that music comes from the inside and with the right mentor and tools, anyone can learn and become a master of the piano. There are lots of learning tools for the blind online and hence you really have no excuse not to inspire a young blind soul out there.

Who is the famous blind piano player?

Ray Charles is the most famous blind black piano player who is a singer, songwriter, and talented pianist. Ray passed away in 2004. Ray Charles is an inspiration to artists everywhere as the most famous blind piano player.

The Top 10 Best Blind Players

First of all, we have to point out that coming up with this list was not as easy as it may sound. There is quite a number of great pianists out there but unfortunately, we couldn’t cover them all.

Another thing that we want to highlight is how spread out these pianists are in terms of music genres. Clearly, everyone can do any type of music regardless of their limitations and all they need is some motivation and the right people around them. From our research, we realized that even though most blind pianists are into jazz and blues, there is also a good number of them doing other types of music.

We also came across wonderful keyboardists from all corners of the world proving that even geographical boundaries can’t stop the spread of good music.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 blind piano players in the world.

George Shearing

George Shearing defeated all odds to become one of the best and most decorated piano players in the world. He was even recognized by the Queen of England for his skills and was bestowed with a Knighthood back in 2007. He also had the opportunity of entertaining three US presidents at the White House.

It wasn’t all smiles and silvers for George Shearing though. He was born in the poor family in Britain and didn’t even have enough finances to get the best tools to pursue his ambitions in music. In fact, he used to perform in a local pub where he got paid 5 pounds per week. Fast forward to the 1940s where he decided to move to the US for greener pastures.  It didn’t even take him too long to make a name of himself thanks to his rich skills and relentlessness.

Nobuyuki Tsuji

This Japanese pianist has accomplished almost everything any pianist could wish for. He started using the keyboard when he was just 10 years old and since then he has done nothing but touch the hearts of music lovers across the world. He has excellent virtuoso skills that could move your nerves! I’d really recommend that you check out his collection.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was a blind pianist who built a great career both as a musician and businessman. He enjoyed a successful music career and he is one of the few who has tried to give back to the society by helping deaf children.

Ray Charles was actually born with his vision intact until he was around 7 years old. Seven years later he lost both his parents and moved from his birthplace, rural Georgia. He then decided to push for a career in music by teaching himself how to play various instruments. A few years later his talent blew up and he went on to be crowned a world acclaim for his outstanding southern blues music.

As a businessman, Charles established his own label which helped him to maintain his music rights and earn a living from his skills. He then started a foundation aimed at helping deaf children. The story of why he thought deaf children needed more help than the blind is a very interesting and inspiring one. According to Ray Charles, the inability to see isn’t really that much of a handicap compared to deafness. He believed that children and other people who couldn’t hear missed out on a lot in life including the inability to hear and get inspired through music. So, he created this foundation which offers scholarships to deaf students helping them to reach their music dreams.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder is a popular musician born and raised from Saginaw Michigan. Just like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder was born sighted but lost his vision during his childhood. His strict mother played a key role in helping him through this period to become one of the best pop stars of his generation.

Stevie Wonder started out playing all sorts of instruments that he could get his hands on. He was part of his church choir where he played the piano, harmonica and even drums. A few years later he was signed to Motown records where his talent and career caught on.

Joaquin Rodrigo

Joaquin Rodrigo is a hugely celebrated pianist and violinist. He was born in Italy but his music and talent spread across all corners of the world. Like other pianists, Rodrigo was born sighted but lost his sight due to a Diphtheria complication. He then joined a school for the blind at age 8 where he learned how to play a piano and violin. By age 20, he was already a magnificent violinist and by the time he was 23 he had already written his first piano composition. Sadly, he passed on back in 1991 but his music lives on.

Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap is a US pianist who was abandoned as an infant. He was raised by his grandparents. He joined the Governor Moorehead school for the Blind where he identified his love for music and worked hard to make something out of it. His favorite genre is country music something he was really great at but his accomplishments as a classical pianist were even better. He can also play the fiddle.

Jeff Healey

Jeff Healey is the lead singer for the Jeff Healey Band. This Canadian pianist started his music career at just 3 years old! He has also worked on a few albums and has been featured in several American movies. He was the first musician to play the guitar while it’s sitting flat on his lap.

Ken Medema

Ken Medema was born in the US but spent a huge majority of his music career in Canada and across Europe. He was born blind but that didn’t stand between him and becoming a magician as a composer and pianist. At age 5 he had already learned how to play the piano and to read music through braille. Ken Medema is a reputable name in classical music.

Jimmy Pruett

Jimmy Pruett was an excellent pianist featured in lots of pop songs back in the 1950s before earning his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pruett was born blind in the US and taught himself how to play both the piano and guitar.

Final Words

There are so many great blind piano players that we can all learn from. Take Marcus Roberts, for instance; this blind pianist learned how to play the piano from his blind mother who taught herself. Marcus Roberts has always explained that his mother taught him that blindness should never bar him from making and enjoying great music. She taught him not just to play the piano but also how to feel the music with his entire body!

We can all borrow a leaf from these pianists not just for the purpose of helping other blind young talents around us but also to polish our own skills. Take a moment to imagine how much we could change the music arena if we all learned how to feel the music from our souls and relay the magic and emotions through our fingers!

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