I started playing piano when I was about 10 years old, and initially, I did it by learning by ear. This sounds awfully talented and all that jazz except it’s a real disadvantage when you’re trying to read music.
I started classical lessons around a year later, and put my mother through hell as I tried to work my way a setting of the Rose of Tralee. The cover was blue and I have no idea what it was doing at home because no one else really read music. Eventually I was advised to skip that and go do Grade 1 of the Royal Irish Academy of Music which I duly did. I cannot remember what I scored, and after that it was grade books.
From the time I was about 21 to the time I was 44 I did not have regular access to a piano. I cry thinking about the lost years sometimes but, we need to move on. I have one now. It may be a digital piano rather than the grand Kawai of my dreams (as they were at the time). I have sheet music. I have access to other beautiful pianos. This is my life now.