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endorsements & testimonials

"Why We Play" is an introspective and yet powerfully realistic look into our motivations for creating music at the piano, as well as gentle guidance for the beginner and even the seasoned professional as to which instrument might serve them best, from technical ease to textural and dynamic response. I remember just a few years back, I was shopping for a new piano, looking for that ephemeral, inexplicable "something" that would release my inner voice on the piano of my dreams. When the salesperson asked what exactly it was that I wanted in a piano, I said flippantly, "I just drive 'em. I don't know what goes on under the hood. I want something that drives like a Ferrari." And, consequently, every piano I wound up with behaved more like a car than a musical instrument. I mean, I've been playing for sixty years, but until I read Ben's priceless slim volume, I thought pianos were something like motor cars. A bit of oil and a tune-up, and I'd take the race.

~ Jessica Williams
Pianist and Jazz Great

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"Why We Play" is a much needed and perfectly timed book. The process of making music starts with obtaining an instrument, then learning the necessary skills and choosing the repertoire and style. But the instrument comes first. Making the right choice when buying a piano will influence the next steps in learning or advancing and essentially enjoying the music-making process.

While there are many books about pianists and piano music, there are very few about the instrument itself. "Why We Play" offers a unique perspective on the process of selecting a piano in our era of smartphones and tablets. Ben Klinger offers you a different kind of GPS and a completely new direction of looking and listening to the piano and essentially finding your relationship with it.

~ Yelena Balabanova, D.M.A, NCTM,
Concert Pianist and Performance Coach

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