How Did Ray Charles Learn to Play the Piano?

Ray Charles Robinson is world-renowned as the “Father of Soul”, captivating audiences with his unique blend of R&B, gospel and blues. Today we are reflecting on how Ray Charles’ story has impacted music and how did he learn to play the piano.

Ray_Charles_plays the piano

Victor Diaz Lamich, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Born in 1930 in Albany Georgia, Ray Charles was the son of a railroad repairman. His mother Aretha was a sharecropper. At an early age he began to lose his vision due to glaucoma until eventually he became completely blind by age seven.

When and How Did Ray Charles Learn to Play the Piano?

To help him reach his potential, he was sent to St Augustine Florida School for the Deaf and Blind where he could learn special skills that would enable him to live life fully despite his disability such as learning Braille so he could read music, playing musical instruments such as piano, saxophone clarinet and trumpet along with being taught how to compose songs using Braille.

Ray Charles excelled at this school thanks largely to the encouragement of others and eventually become known as its most talented musician. He moved onto capture hearts around the world with soulful hits like “Georgia on My Mind” or “Hit The Road Jack” earning him his nickname – The Father of Soul – which continues on today through organizations like Industries For The Blind,  who strive every day to provide employment opportunity for those whose view may be obscured by shadows or misty fog but still can have faith knowing that light will shine through just like it did for Ray Charles many years ago when he attended school.

We firmly believe that inherent potential lies within every person no matter what their disability may be. We want people everywhere know that there’s more than one way achieve success even if your vision challenged you; something Ray Charles proved time and time again throughout his illustrious career making sure everyone remembers just how powerful hope truly is even amidst adversity.

We honor Ray Charles for inspiring us to never give up our dreams and passions, even if life may throw us some curveballs. We are forever indebted to him for blazing a trail that has enabled the blind and visually impaired to reach their full potential. He will always be remembered as The Father of Soul and an example of courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Thank you Ray Charles!


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