__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"48994":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"48994":{"val":"var(--tcb-skin-color-22)"}},"gradients":[]},"original":{"colors":{"48994":{"val":"rgb(19, 114, 211)","hsl":{"h":210,"s":0.83,"l":0.45}}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
Super Fingers

Hi, I'm Lars Nelissen

About Piano Fantasy

At Piano Fantasy  we enter the fantastic world of outstanding piano music.  We offer free inspiration through our blogs and videos. For those who wish to go deeper or like to boost their piano playing we offer online courses to teach you the ins and outs of piano technique and the music involved.

Fantasy implies the creativity that is expressed through music, but no less important is the imagination in learning. Imagination in learning music and the technique involved makes your learning process so much more effective when we follow at the same time the right method. Fantasy has a direct impact on the way you perceive and play music.

X stands for two crossing roads. Your road and mine. And the road of method and the road of fantasy. It is at this exact crossing point where superpowers are unleashed and everything becomes possible. 

“Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!”

–J.K. Rowling 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Goals we have in mind for you:

  • Get to know piano music better 
  • Grow a deeper musical imagination
  • Learn more effectively
  • Enjoy your own practice and playing more in the process of becoming a better pianist
  • Learn to creatively develop a much better technique based on the deep principles of piano playing and piano music 
  • Become your own best teacher

My Story

My name is Lars and I am the founder of Piano Fantasy. Let me here tell you my story.

As a child, I loved being creative in drawing and painting. I grew up in a fisherman’s family and being outside in the countryside where I grew up near the water was most common for me. I used to collect little bugs and fish and kept them to investigate. Everyone said I’ll become a biologist or something in that direction. No one in my family played music, yet we listened to music of course.

When I was about twelve years old I asked for learning the piano, but my parents didn’t take it seriously. At the time I was a fan of Queen and I wanted to play piano like Freddy Mercury. For two years I kept asking until my parents bought me a keyboard and took me to keyboard lessons. But the keyboard didn’t do it for me, I was drawn to the piano. So every Saturday after the lesson I played the piano in the piano shop underneath the music school. About a year later my father bought me a real piano at last and I started piano lessons with the local piano teacher. I was 15 years old by the time. 

Lars Nelissen child photo

Mostly you hear when you ask a professional musician when he or she started to play an instrument for the first time at a very young age. And many teachers like to keep alive the idea that it is impossible to make it to a professional level if not started to learn seriously at a very young age. This discourages so many people to even start to learn piano at all. Surely there is an advantage, but I am the living example that when desire, imagination and hard work are combined many outcomes become possible.

I am not the only example. The most famous example is Ignacy Jan Paderewski, he got his first piano lesson at age 12 and didn’t start to work seriously before age 24 when he studied with Leschetizky. He was a controversial man who later became the first president of Poland and at age 76 made his debut as a Hollywood movie star. Again, with imagination, desire, and intelligent work the sky is the limit. Intelligent work needs method and I am here to share with you this method that made me succeed in my goals and I use still today.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski caricature
Lars Nelissen Maastricht 2003

So when I was fifteen I started to take lessons with the local piano teacher John Timmermans. He was an excellent musician, but his professional background was saxophone and big band conducting. He studied piano as a minor and had his limits. I owe him my love for both classical and Jazz. I learned with him Kabalevsky, Satie, Debussy, Clementi, Beethoven. 

We worked through most of Czerny’s opus 299 and the complete Hanon exercises, Bach’s two-voice inventions, many sonatinas and little pieces including Reverie by Debussy. After less than two years he admittedly told me that he couldn’t teach me more and that we had to look for a new teacher. Yet he continued to teach me music theory and ear training. He passed away a few years ago. 

Decision

At sixteen I had become a fanatic of classical music and made my decision to become a professional pianist and together with my first teacher we visited the open day of the conservatory where I first met Avi Schönfeld. I was so impressed by the playing of his students during the class performance. Schönfeld himself studied piano with Arthur Rubinstein, Vlado Perlemuter, Yvonne Lèfebure, Ilona Vinzce-Krausz and composition with Alexander Tansman and Nadia Boulanger, a list of impressive names. 

Lars Nelissen and Avi Schönfeld 2005

And he was teaching a method that was a combination of good fingers and flexible arm movements resulting in a great sounding piano with all possible sound colors. I wanted to learn to play like that and in Avi Schönfeld I could find all that knowledge in one teacher. After playing for him he recognized that I have talent and a desire to play and challenged me. He recommended me to study with Peter Simons a former pupil of his in a nearby city where I live and come back to him after two years and play for him again. That was exactly what I did…

During these two years of lessons with Peter Simons, I learned a method of piano playing as it is taught on the great conservatories. 'Everything is connected' holds unquestionably true in piano technique. The musical expression goes hand in hand with technical understanding. Arm and fingers are never separate and should be connected at any time. We started with some of Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte and Chopin nocturne no. 11 together with some MozartBach’s Wohltemperiertes Klavier, and Czerny. Later he added some Moszkowski etudes op. 72. For the entrance examination, I learned Rachmaninov’s PolichinelleChopin's Fantasie ImpromptuMozart's sonata in F-major KV 332, some Scriabin preludes, a prelude and fugue of Bach, Moszkowski and Chopin’s last etude, opus 25 no. 12 in c-minor.

We are two years later and I again visited the open house at the conservatory and played Rachmaninov’s Polichinelle and the last movement of Mozart sonata KV 332 for Schönfeld. He was impressed and told his class “here is a very great talent” and he told me I should do my entrance examination a few months later and he will take me as his student. At that same time I also joined my first piano competition, the Prinses Christina Competition in the Netherlands.

Talent

desire to learn

The desire to learn is crucial in every journey for success and no less so in learning a complex musical instrument. The fact that you are reading this is a good sign that this desire is in you. This desire is more than just a wish but is a commitment that makes that you won't quit in difficult moments but see the challenge in there to overcome and become more motivated.

Imagination & Vision

Imagination goes many ways. First, there is the imagination of art and expression. Then there is the imagination that places you in the middle of it not only as a part but as a creator of your own world. This seeing yourself where you want to go one or more steps ahead, a call vision. We need this vision to be motivated and create our plan.

No quick-and-easy shortcuts

I have my methods to make learning the piano more fun and for achieving greater results. Yet, these are no shortcuts for easy results. Learning music and piano playing requires serious effort. I'm more inclined to state that without proper methods, you'll never reach your goals. I give you some great tools that will help you achieve your goals.

Some of my teacher's words 

" Lars has been a student in my piano class at the conservatory for several years. I highly appreciate his musicality, artistic qualities and imagination. His creativity gives me the feeling he'll be an excellent teacher, therefore I recommend him warmly."

Desire, Passion, Discipline

I was passioned in learning new things on the piano and was very disciplined to practice. This discipline is a choice made naturally every day to not miss out on my time so precious. Practice isn't always easy, but the desire to learn made it, so I didn't feel my day complete without practicing all the pieces I was working on. This includes the technical stuff. 

At the same time, I had to attend like every teenager High school with all the homework that came with it. But this didn't stop me from practice. It just made me very clever in my time. Mostly I made sure all my homework from school was finished before I even left the building. When home, I jumped behind the piano and felt I was doing something purposeful. I even picked up a second instrument, the flute, because I was wrongly told I needed a second instrument to pass the entrance examination. It was much easier to learn than the piano, but there wasn't my passion. 

Music never stopped at the piano. I absorbed books about composers and music history. And I listened to a lot of classical music. I had no internet yet, so I bought many CDs with my pocket money. Always I was searching for something to bring to the music that I played. It could be an atmosphere from some book that I read or a movie I watched. It could be something from nature that I wanted to paint through sound. 

The colors of the sound were always on my mind, more than just notes. Music is, for me, painting with sound colors, colors which are organized in time on the canvas of silence.

Discipline comes with the desire to reach for something you are passionate about. That doesn't make it always easy, but it becomes sustainable over a long time. It doesn't take too much effort to go to the piano and start practice exercises, knowing how my fingers feel so much better after that.

Be interested in other things like books, listening to music, music theory, other arts, science, and nature. You name it what interests you... These interests can be very inspiring and will make you have something to express in music. It breaks the pattern that opens up the mind for learning.

Lars Nelissen Piano Fantasy

Make sure not to miss anything from Piano fantasy!

Conservatory Years

For seven years, I studied with Avi Schönfeld. I learned all the ins and outs of piano technique and music-making. He was a genius piano teacher. There was literally no problem in piano playing that he couldn't find an ingenious solution for. He demonstrated everything and playing he could like a true master who didn't underdo for a Gilels or a Pollini. 

In my first year, I became very interested in choir music. Particularly renaissance music and Russian choir music of Rachmaninov and my favorite Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by Tchaikovsky. So I decided to study choir conducting next to my piano studies, where I also learned all about the Gregorian Chant, which I conduct up to today.

Lars Nelissen in Paris Café La palette

My lessons with Schönfeld went very well, and I always looked forward to the next lesson. He always came up with interesting fingerings combined with special arm movements and different forms of the hands. All technique was rooted in a deep musical understanding. Passages were broken down into logical divisions for playing them brilliantly and smoothly. He astounded everyone when sightreading any music and at the same time explaining the technique and pointing out the music in all its colors and meaning. At this time, I became totally captivated by Alexander Scriabin, a fascination that lasts today.

During that time, I also followed Masterclasses with Tellef JuvaJean-Marie CottetDominique Merlet, and Evgeny Moguilevsky.

My interest in poetry and philosophy grew to the extent that I started to write myself. Poems, philosophy, and essays on quantum physics I wrote for pleasure. This interest is still there and every day I read new things.

Also, I attempted some composing throughout my piano career from the moment I started to learn music. But after I graduated from the conservatory, my interest in composing kept growing and has now become a strong desire to express myself thus. At Piano Fantasy, many of my compositions will be released. So don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter and be informed about the latest releases.

Lars Nelissen Tokyo 2010

Metamorphose 

Soaring the heavens like eagles do,
Breathing that wondrous air above clouds,
There is you! Magical star!
Magnificent light above the heavens.

Shadows left behind,
Fire took reign.

As in a womb of a new humanity,
Quivering light and dancing wind,
A new colour of thought took place,
Born I was once more!

Lars Nelissen, Tokyo, august 2013

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

–Plato

After my studies

My interest in the East is something that has tickled me for many years. As a child, it was triggered by my interest in martial arts. When I started to explore philosophy, I read many books on eastern philosophies. I hooked up with a Chinese girlfriend at the conservatory, and after my graduation, I moved to Wuhan in China

From 2006 until 2009, I stayed in China. I worked there as a piano teacher, teaching both children and older teenagers studying at Wuhan conservatory. I loved the great enthusiasm of the Chinese for the art of music. A genuine learning attitude is a great thing that many Chinese parents impose on their kids, which is very different from the west. I love to teach in China. 

In 2010 I visited Japan for the first time. A new world opened up for me, with its similarities and cultural roots from China, yet very different are the two. In 2012 was born my first son who has a Japanese mother. And in 2013, I became a finalist in the second and last competition I have ever joined, the Yokohama International Piano Competition

In the footsteps of Scriabin

In 2016 I made my first Russia trip with my focus on my favorite composer Alexander Scriabin. I went first to Pyatigorsk, where the Scriabin family spent many summers. Then, I ended my journey in Moscow, where I visited the Scriabin house and listened to a performance of Poem de l'Extase (The Poem of Ecstasy) in Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre.

Lars Nelissen Scriabin museum Moscow
Lars Nelissen Scriabin Museum Moscow at the piano

I went to Russia several times and many times to Japan for both personal and professional reasons. In 2017 I explored a new part of the East, Uzbekistan, the bridge between China and the western world. Ancient Persia, here started the early Silk Route. It is here where I met my current wife.

Collage after study Lars Nelissen

I started to teach piano when I was still a student at the conservatory. Now, after almost twenty years of teaching experience, I have become determined that I can help so many of you who desire to learn music. And I decided to create Piano Fantasy to reach out to you in many different parts of the world.

Approach at Piano Fantasy





We want to be capable of learning and play the music we love with satisfaction. For this, we need to increase control to enjoy the performing, so others, and not least ourselves, can enjoy listening to it. There are ways to make your practice more effective.

You don’t have to be an exceptional talent to enjoy playing and learn fast. What is talent anyway? The way talent is often used is as an excuse not to do the work. Like this, the word talent has become a lie. Talent is not an excuse not to practice as much, but it is a responsibility to work even more seriously.

The word talent is too often misused by the undisciplined and mediocre teacher as an excuse. What many of those so-called teachers don’t teach you are the real deep strategies and principles of learning and piano technique. Unfortunately, too many don’t know what they are talking about when they teach piano. Instead, they give you some rubbish advice and then tell you it is all about talent.

As each person may feel and experience the world differently, each learner will have different strengths in their learning depending on personality, experience, and temperament. Many studies suggest that talent and intelligence can be developed like a muscle. It isn’t fixed. And some know very well how to play how it should but like to suggest that it is pure talent and give you some useless suggestions. Yet never touch the matter in depth.

Lars Nelissen Piano Fantasy
  • Get an understanding of the basic principles
  • Don't let talent get in your way
  • Learn more effectively
  • Grow a deeper musical imagination
  • Have a purpose and enjoy your own practice more
  • Become your own best teacher

“Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter” 

– Stephen King

The Sky Is The Limit

Desire To Learn

The desire to learn is crucial in every journey for success and no less so in learning a complex musical instrument. The fact that you are reading this is a good sign that this desire is in you. This desire is more than just a wish but is a commitment that makes that you won't quit in difficult moments but see the challenge in there to overcome and become more motivated.

Imagination & Vision

Imagination goes many ways. First, there is the imagination of art and expression. Then there is the imagination that places you in the middle of it not only as a part but as a creator of your own world. This seeing yourself where you want to go one or more steps ahead, a call vision. We need this vision to be motivated and create our plan.

Discipline

I have my methods to make learning the piano more fun and creative and getting greater results. Yet, these are no shortcuts for easy results. Learning music and piano playing requires serious effort. I'm more inclined to state that without proper methods, you'll never reach your goals. I give you some great tools that will help you achieve your goals.

“Every talent must unfold itself in fighting” 

– Friedrich Nietzsche 

Don't miss out anything of what is going on at Piano Fantasy!

We are here to help you and like to inform you about new updates, blogs and online courses. Sometimes we offer freebies and special discounts.

Join Facebook Group Piano Fantasy banner

Super Fingers

Essential Piano Technique

The most complete online course for piano technique!

>
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!