Ben Folds is featured in the July edition of Gramophone, where he talks about composing his first piano concerto. The July issue is available digitally and to subscribers, and on general sale now. Here is an excerpt:
I took piano lessons from the babysitter for a year when I was nine, and I got better than her pretty quickly. And at that time I was reading the music, and it was all going in a lot faster than it does now, I can tell you that! But my serious discipline was percussion -- that's how I paid for my college, I got scholarships, and that's what I worked like a fiend on. But the piano was something I did to bring out the songs I was hearing in my head, it became a song-writing tool. So by the time I was 10 years old I was just writing songs, I wasn't learning anything -- I'm surprised I can play at all when I think about the lack of scales and arpeggios, exercises, sight-reading and technique.