From 10am to 8pm BST today - every hour, on the hour - we will be sharing a different performance from our Piano Day line-up on our Instagram.

Vanessa Carlton - known for her iconic noughties classic "A Thousand Miles", joins an incredible list of musicians: Tom Odell kicks off the day, and there are performances from singer-songwriters ella jane, Hannah Georgas, Bright Light Bright Light and Josef Salvat. Experimental composers Eydís Evensen, Melissa Parmenter and Jay Chakravorty join multimedia artist Rosey Chan and British classical soul pioneer Alexis Ffrench completing the line-up.

Piano Day is held on the 88th day of each year - to match the number of keys on a piano - and was the brainchild of Erased Tapes-signed post-classical composer Nils Frahm in 2015. It’s a way of exploring the piano and everything around it - performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and listeners.

As well as sharing their performances today with caught up with our showcase guests - as well as London-based singer/songwriter Rachel Chinouriri - to find out more about their relationship with the piano and the advice they'd give to any budding pianists.

Tom Odell

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

My grandmother had an upright piano and I used to sit and listen with my back up against the board by the pedals. I can still distinctly remember her playing "Moonlight Sonata" and how her long fingernails used to tap the top of keys as she played.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

Oh lord, I’m not sure. Maybe "Chopsticks"? Who knows. I remember writing my first melody on the piano when I was around 8 or 9. I ran into my parents who were watching TV and dragged them in to listen. I remember them being genuinely impressed by it. Maybe the most impressed I had ever seen them, which might be why I later chose it as my career.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

I’m not sure. I think I struggled to express myself when I was young. And I think the piano provided a better means of communication than words.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Do it. But be patient. The first couple of years can be frustrating, but then one day it will just click. And suddenly you will be able to speak a whole new language you never knew was there.

Eydís Evensen

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

It was when I was 3 or 4 years old, playing alongside my older siblings as they also took piano lessons.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

I think it might have been an Icelandic children's song called "Góða Mamma".

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

I have always been able to connect to this instrument and able to express myself freely.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of learning piano?

I would say that it is not too late to start taking lessons if the interest is there and then to be able to enjoy your progress, it is important to be patient with yourself.

Bright Light Bright Light

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

Teaching myself how to play TV theme tunes with my grandmother on her piano on her farm. I used to love it so much. I hated actual lessons so much, I quit them after 6 months but I always loved playing.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

Properly I think it was The Rose by Bette Midler - such a gay even as a child! My grandfather loved it so I learned how to play it so he could hear.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

I love the feel of it, playing the keys and hearing the tone on a real piano, the reverberations and the fullness of the sound. I don't know what it is but the piano is really my favourite instrument. Solo piano music makes me feel very sentimental and Christmassy and really takes me out of my everyday situation. I really just could listen to the piano all day.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Find the right reason to! If there's something that draws you to the instrument, like a style of music, an artist, a mood etc, then find a way to learn that type of playing. I found classical lessons horrendous and it bored me to death. Then I started playing by ear and playing the music I really love. I wish I HAD classical training so I was much better, but I love that I found my way around the piano on my own terms and have a slightly weirder style of playing because of that

Melissa Parmenter

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

My earliest memory is sitting with my dad at the piano and him teaching me to play by ear - I would copy his fingers and learn the wonderful tunes he used to play.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

I remember learning Chopin’s Waltz Number 9 in a flat major - I think I must have been around 12, and then after that, I was learning the music of Erik Satie, Debussy, and of course Michael Nyman who is a genius!

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

To me, the piano feels like home - it’s another member of my family that I am close to and who I will always know, always be around and always feel emotionally connected to.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Do it! You must! However you learn to play - be it by ear or by reading music, it is something that will be with you for your whole life. Playing the piano takes you away to a very special place!!!

Jay Chakravorty

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

I remember having about five lessons when I was around 10 years old and absolutely hating it. I didn’t understand music notation (still kind of don’t), so sheet music looked like gibberish to me. It seemed like the opposite of fun. I remember being told by the teacher that I was making Beethoven spin in his grave, and thinking, “well, I’m 10 and I can’t read music. What did you expect?” I still have an irrational dislike of Wednesdays because Wednesdays were piano lesson days.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

When I started going back to the piano, it was mainly because I wanted to play some of the music I was actually listening to, so it was probably something simple from the '90s. "Sullivan Street" by Counting Crows springs to mind. It’s two chords, but they’re really good chords. The sense of achievement I felt at having picked out the right notes from all the possible notes on the keyboard (even though it was pretty much entirely trial and error) is what initially kept me coming back for more. The joy of working it out for myself gave me a motivation that I don’t think I could ever have got out of lessons. I do, however, think that’s almost certainly a failing of my own psychology.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

The piano makes the most sense to me out of any instrument. The keyboard and its layout are one of the most intuitive designs ever. Low notes on one end, running through to high notes on the other, all neatly pre-organised into western-scale sub-divisions. They even made the sharp notes and flat notes a different colour to help you pick them out. It’s so simple, but the simplicity is what allows it to be so complex.

I still sometimes hear a solo piano piece and am dumbfounded at the fact that it’s being played by only one person. The combination of notes and textures is almost endless. I’ve been playing for years and I’m still often surprised by the things my hands find on the piano in a way that I rarely am on, say, the guitar. I just never get bored of it. The piano can do so much more than most other instruments. It’s a percussion instrument with a relatively huge resonant body, but it’s also a stringed instrument with a massive polyphonic range. You can make a giant, crashing sound with it, or you can make a tiny, delicate, fragile sound. As a conduit for expression, I just can’t think of a better instrument.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Absolutely do it. It can sometimes feel like there are so many barriers to entry involved in learning an instrument - maybe especially the piano - but if it’s something you’re interested in, there are so many benefits. The first time you play something - either a song by someone else, or something you’ve made up yourself - a whole world of expression suddenly opens up. If you want to get a teacher, get someone who will teach you the music you want to play in a way that makes it fun for you. If you don’t want a teacher (and I cannot stress this enough), that is also absolutely fine. Having fun is literally all that matters.

In practical terms, there’s no getting away from the fact that the piano is a fairly expensive and bulky instrument. My main piece of advice only compounds that, unfortunately. It’s this: if you want to play, don’t get a cheap keyboard. It might not sound all that bad, but it’ll feel horrible to play and you just won’t want to spend time with it. If you have the space, there’s nothing quite like a real piano. If you don’t have the space, you can get a pretty decent digital piano for about £300. Look out for the phrase “weighted keys”. That’s what you want. Not “semi-weighted”. “Weighted”. Trust me on that.

Rosey Chan

What’s your earliest memory of the piano?

Hearing both pop piano music, and Mozart Sonatas with the moving imagery/vista of the Lake District on long family car journeys…the beginnings of understanding how perfectly and pure the sound of the piano complemented the moving imagery I was seeing from the back seat of the car.…

What’s the first song you remember learning on the piano?

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. My mum made me play it a million times over and over!

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

It’s my best friend. I turn to it in times of sorrow and joy.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn to play the piano?

  1. See your piano as a friend - as an extension of your own voice.
  2. The piano can enhance your life in so many ways. Scientifically, it can give you a window of calm and peace and can also enhance other physical areas such as brain and eye coordination.
  3. Never feel that you need a piano to learn the piano - you can use your fingers to tap your arms or legs to improve dexterity, coordination, and rhythm. You can develop your piano skills away from the piano.
  4. Always try to carve out 15-20 minutes of practice per day and in that time, always practice a piece that you enjoy playing to remind you of why you play.
  5. Imagine how you feel when you climb to the top of a mountain!

Hannah Georgas

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

My earliest memory of the piano would be watching my dad play piano around the house when I was a kid. He was an incredible musician and loved entertaining a crowd. I remember bringing him to my school a couple of times as my "show and tell". He would have all of the kids in my grade jumping around and dancing while he played blues music. I felt pretty cool at the time I must say.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

I started taking piano lessons around the age of 5. I was taught a method called Suzuki and I remember learning songs like "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb". We played different variations of those types of songs to learn proper techniques like hand placement, repetition, and posture etc... I remember the first song I figured out how to play outside of classical music was a song by Jann Arden called "Good Mother"

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

My dad loved to play and I think that's why I gravitated to the piano in the first place. It's the instrument I know the best in terms of the technical side of things. I love writing songs on the piano and it's the instrument I feel really comfortable playing.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

I think patience is key. Things take time and with practice, you can learn a lot. I also think it's important to find a teacher that you really like and have a good connection with. My piano teacher growing up was so supportive and eccentric. She was also very consistent and had a lot of patience. I think she is a big reason why I kept going and never felt like quitting.

Josef Salvat

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

We always had a piano in the house so it’s hard to pinpoint, but the clearest one that comes to mind are these little round coloured stickers on the keys indicating which notes were which and playing with those and discovering a chord for the first time.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

The first song I remember really working on for pleasure was "Gymnopédie No. 1" by Erik Satie. Before that, it would have been standard beginner piano playbook songs.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

It’s complete. You don’t need anything but the piano to build a whole world. It’s both percussive and melodic. And the dynamic possibilities are endless. It works whether you're in a meditative mood or a bash-the-keys mood.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Just begin. Don’t skip the boring things like scales because if you get those down it’s freedom afterwards. Also practising with songs you know and love makes the whole thing much easier.

ella jane

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

My earliest piano memory is a cute one - it’s me and my twin brother at three or four years old running around the piano as my dad played a fast, bouncy song we called “The Train Song.” It was this beautiful grand piano in the middle of our living room, surrounded by photos of Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. It’s the piano I grew up learning how to play and write on, and I miss it whenever I’m away.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

My parents started me in lessons when I was just four, so honestly, I have no clue what the first song I ever learned was I have a vivid memory of the first song I learned to play and sing at the same time. It was Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 and I was about 10 years old - just before I started writing songs of my own. My Dad and I printed out a chord sheet and he helped me learn the seventh chords.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

As cheesy as it sounds, I always felt like the piano was a part of me. I’ve never been good with theory or reading music, but that never seemed to matter - I could, and can, just sit and play. I feel so lucky to have a strong ear. I also think it’s more than that, though - it doesn’t require much thought. Not to say I’m great, as there are far better players than me, it’s just more that I’ve never really felt frustrated with the piano like I have trying to learn other instruments. For guitar it was a process; for piano I just let my fingers melt into the keys and forgot about the world for a bit. It’s cathartic. I can’t imagine my life without it.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

Don’t be like me and fake your way through learning theory - it will come to help you so much in the end, from writing to playing.

Rachel Chinouriri

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

I remember when I was younger, going to my uncle's house (who was a preacher) and he had all the church band equipment in his house. The piano was set up and I remember playing it badly but I thought I was making the best song of all time

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

"River Flows In You" by Yiruma... anyone who learnt piano via YouTube 100% knows that banger.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

I feel like the piano can transform so many songs just by as simply applying less pressure to the keys. It’s also got so many keys that there’s nothing that can go wrong. It’s easier to learn at the beginning but if you really master the piano it can really transform production value and any song

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

My advice to anyone learning piano is to just do it. The earlier you start the better. Don’t feel pressure to learn keys and stick to a box, just by learning songs and shapes with your hand can be enough to get you into making your own things. Also, don’t give up. Go back to things the day after if needed!

Alexis Ffrench

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

Seeing a piano in the back of truck, watching it be brought into our house and then playing a G flat Major chord and thinking it was magic!

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

I have early memories of Chopin Etudes when I was very young, around 5. My piano teacher used to put the music in front of me and say ‘play that’ and then buy me an ice cream if I played well. I always got the ice cream!

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

The amazing colours it can create. It’s like drawing on a picture on a canvas of infinite possibilities.

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

"Bluebird" is a good place to start. It’s in my new book ‘Alexis Ffrench: The sheet music collection’, which is out now. Also, take a look at my tutorials on YouTube. And remember, you’re never too old to start playing!

Vanessa Carlton

What is your earliest memory of the piano?

My mom was a piano teacher and she taught out of our home. She was also a piano dealer at the time. At any given time we could have four pianos in the house! And we didn't live in a big house. So I'd say around two and a half I started going up and playing them.

What was the first song you remember learning on the piano?

"It's A Small World," apparently I sat down and worked it out by ear. Which I vaguely remember. It's the creepiest most hypnotic song. My favourite combo.

What makes the piano such a special instrument to you?

The piano is a huge part of my childhood. I remember coming home after school in the spring and the students playing in the house would ring out to the end of our driveway!

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of learning piano?

I think finding the right teacher is key. I'm not sure what online options there are at the moment. For me, I needed to learn how to read music as that opened up a whole world for me. Once you have some basics down I recommend finding a piece of music or a song that you've always wanted to play. Hal Leonard has great sheet music options.

Follow Best Fit on Instagram at @thelineofbestfit and tune in from 10am GMT on 29 March when the performances will kick off