LOCAL NEWS

Utah Man Hopes To Turn Uncommon Piano Talent Into Career

Apr 10, 2021, 8:50 PM

PRICE, Utah — After facing some incredible life struggles, one Huntington man is hoping for a brighter future by staying “in tune” with an uncommon piano talent he’s had since he was a child.

Tanner Hill has little classical training and struggles when he tries to play to sheet music, but if he listens to a song on the radio or online, he can play it on demand.

“Yeah, basically I just need to hear it,” Hill said.

During a recent session at Lee’s Music on 58 E. Main Street in Price, he demonstrated his prowess by playing classical and contemporary hits with ease, including a sonatina by Clementi, “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

He wasn’t told ahead of time to prepare for any of them.

Store Manager Mark Dickey called out tunes, and Hill almost seamlessly transitioned into playing them.

When Hill couldn’t quite recall Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” Dickey played only a few seconds and Hill immediately translated it to the keys of a grand piano.

“Hearing two seconds of it and being able to play it is pretty awesome,” Dickey acknowledged. “Most of them play by reading sheet music and some can play by ear, but not quite on that level.”

Hill said he believes he can play as many as 200,000 songs.

Sheet music is a hindrance, he said.

“Like, I could pick apart at it, but it would be really difficult for my actual ability to play not to take over that,” Hill shrugged.

His talent came at an early age. Hill said he was 5-years-old when his parents heard somebody playing “Jingle Bells” on the piano and came to find him doing it.

“There I was, playing with both hands the same as on the radio, except they said my version was better than what was on the radio, so it kind of threw them off,” he said.

Hill said his parents went around the state, trying to find someone to teach him to learn how to play traditionally and with sheet music.

“I had a couple people just straight-up tell my parents I’m not capable of learning to read sheet music,” Hill said.

Hill performed locally numerous times over the years, with people telling him, “you’re awesome,” “you’re going to be famous someday,” and “you’re going to play at my wedding.”

His path into adulthood, however, was filled with obstacles.

He said he still struggles to hold down jobs to support his family, and he has been financially devastated through three different fires that displaced him.

He was living in a RV next to Utah Lake in Utah County in 2015 when it burned.

In 2018, Hill said he was living in a tent when a wildfire struck.

“We were in a really bad struggle for life,” he recalled. “Like once again, everything we’d saved up to try to get back on our feet…gone.”

His music helped carry him through those dark days.

“It’s a constant stress reliever,” Hill said. “It just kind of takes my worries, my stress and everything away.”

Today, Hill said he works odd landscaping jobs.

He has tried out multiple times previously for NBC’s America’s Got Talent and is hoping somehow to turn his musical gift into a living or career.

For now, Hill shares music on his YouTube channel while using his ability to connect with those around him who also may be facing challenges in life.

“It made me feel better inside that I knew that my music was helping someone else through a rough time,” Hill said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

FILE PHOTO (Idaho State Police/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Kearns woman killed in two vehicle crash in Idaho

A Kearns woman has died after being hit by a car while on a motorcycle in Idaho Saturday.
21 hours ago
Iron County Search & Rescue responded to a injured mountain biker at Boulder Dash Trail. (Credit: I...
Michael Houck

Search & Rescue crews help an injured biker near Cedar City

Iron County Search & Rescue helped a mountain biker who needed help after getting hurt on a trail Saturday morning near Cedar City.
21 hours ago
A minor apartment fire on 761 So. 300 E....
Michael Houck

SLC Fire crews take down a minor apartment fire

Salt Lake City Fire crews responded to a minor apartment fire Sunday afternoon.
21 hours ago
Utah's state Route 24 on June 23, 2022. (NPS)...
Larry D. Curtis

Flood watch over popular Utah recreation areas Sunday

A flood watch is in effect over central southern Utah, through Sunday night, as thunderstorms create potentially dangerous conditions.
21 hours ago
Hundreds of protesters marched in Provo for abortion rights....
Michael Locklear

Hundreds protest in Provo to demand abortion rights

A crowd of roughly 300 people gathered in Provo Saturday night to demand abortion rights.
2 days ago
A structure fire nearby the Rio Tinto Stadium. (Credit: Scott Jones)...
Michael Houck

Gymnastics business burns near Rio Tinto during RSL game

Sandy Fire crews battled against a 3rd alarm structure fire near the Rio Tinto Stadium during the Real Salt Lake game Saturday evening.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah Man Hopes To Turn Uncommon Piano Talent Into Career