On the Couch with Jan Preston

Jan Preston Arts Review On the CouchWho is Jan Preston?
I’m a piano player, composer and singer from Sydney, originally from Greymouth, a small town on the remote West Coast of the South Island of NZ.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
Not much really, I love playing concerts and composing! However, I’d like to set aside a few months for intensive piano lessons in Germany with 2 or 3 experts that I know there. Maybe I’ll fit that in before I die.

Who inspires you and why?
My sister Gaylene has always been a great inspiration to me. She’s fearless, stays very focused creatively, keeps making films and is always moving forward even when things are tough.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d make it compulsory for everyone to play an instrument or sing everyday. It’s a wonderful stress release, even better in groups, and can be enormously helpful in regard to mental health. It’s a shame spontaneous singing is seen as an embarrassing thing for people to do.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
At home in Sydney. I love stopping travelling and being at home with my grand piano, hanging out playing, writing. It’s delicious!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’d probably take them to my favourite yoga class or swimming at the local pool, then a coffee and chat. Fortunately I live right next door to a fabulous café.

What are you currently reading?
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart and The Red Shoe by Australian writer Ursula Dubosarski. Both books are brilliant!

What are you currently listening to?
Obscure boogie piano players such as Anne Rabson and Axel Zwingenberger. Moreover I spend a lot of time avoiding overhearing recorded music I don’t want in my head. Many times my husband and I go to eat somewhere and we have to move table or leave! I always stop and listen to buskers.

Happiness is?
Playing the piano.

What does the future hold for you?
More concerts, more shows and composing, for as long as my hands will hold out.

Jan will be starring in Adventures in Pianoland at Canberra’s The Street Theatre: 11 – 14 August 2016. For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.

Image: Jan Preston