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I taught myself to play piano during lockdown – and it helped me come to terms with losing my sight

A diabetic since childhood, in 2018 Conor Lennon suffered an accident which severely impacted his sight. Now legally blind, he tells us how taking up the piano has been his saving grace as he learns to adapt to a new life

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Conor Lennon at his piano at home in Co Louth. Photo: Frank McGrath.

Conor Lennon at his piano at home in Co Louth. Photo: Frank McGrath.

Conor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child

Conor was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child

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Conor Lennon at his piano at home in Co Louth. Photo: Frank McGrath.

When I was a kid, my poor mother was driven demented getting me to piano lessons. After a few weeks, I learned that if I took the €10 for the lessons and went over to the shop, I could load up on Stinger bars and bottles of Cadet orange. It didn’t last long. Mum copped on and that was the end of that enterprise. My days of piano-mitching were over.

Fast forward to the most recent lockdown earlier this year. My fiancée, Aoife, was back in work, my son was in school and, for medical reasons, I was stuck home alone. My uncle offered to drop off a piano. It was an old family piano and needed a bit of tuning. But I said, sure, it would give me something to do. I was hooked, except learning the piano wouldn’t be quite so straightforward this time.


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