Musician learns to play piano with one hand after brain tumour leaves him partially paralysed Student Paul Murray learns to play the piano with left hand after brain tumour leaves him partially paralysed'I forget about all my problems when I play,' he says
15:41 GMT, 6 April 2012
A pianist who was left partially paralysed by a life-threatening brain tumour has learned to master his instrument with just one hand.
Paul Murray, 21, was told he would never be able to play the piano again after the right side of his body was left disabled when the mass was removed, but he has since astounded medics with his speedy recovery.
He is now back performing, working with other musicians that use left-hand repertoire and his story is set to be featured in a Channel 4
documentary, aired later this year, exploring the life of pianist
and composer Frederic Chopin.
Paul Murray had to learn how to play the piano using only his left hand after being blighted by a brain tumour
Paul, a music student at the University of Aberdeen, said: 'The thought that I would never play the piano again never crossed my mind, I was determined to carry on and play with what remaining ability I had.
'Just playing music is fantastic. It might sound strange to non-music players, but I get transported into another world when I play.
'I forget about all my problems when I play, it's a fantastic way to escape.'
Paul first discovered his talent for music
aged 15, while attending Bellshill Academy in North Lanarkshire, where he
quickly progressed through the grades despite not having any formal
In 2007 he secured a a place to study music at the
University of Aberdeen, but during his first year began to experience crippling headaches and when he returned to Glasgow
for a hospital appointment, he was quickly referred to a neurologist.
Paul is now re-writing pieces of classical piano music so that they can be played with only one hand
It was then he was told he was suffering from a massive brain tumour and would need immediate surgery.
Paul said: 'I had four brain surgeries in total and the first lasted for
14 and half hours. I was told the tumour was very large.
'I had to go through a long period of rehabilitation which meant I spent my 18th birthday in hospital.
'I was told it would take two and half years recovery time but I'm
always very positive with these things and I was determined to get back
to university and continue my studies.
'I was obviously gutted that I wasn't
able to play piano with two hands any more, but I am just grateful that I
made it through and was still alive.'
After his brain tumour diagnosis and
subsequent operations, it took four months in Glasgow's Southern General
Hospital learning how to walk and talk again, and he said that it was
his family and love of music that got him through.
The undergraduate is now using his musical talents to
re-write pieces of classical piano music so that they can be played with
only one hand.
Dr David Smith, head of music at the
University of Aberdeen, described Mr Murray as 'a truly inspirational
student, totally dedicated to his studies'.