Here's an interview I did with pianist/composer Karen FitzGerald.
Edward: How Did You Get Started Playing New Age Piano?
Karen: I've been studying piano all my life, probably even before I was born because my mother loved to play classical music on our family's baby grand piano. As a small child I used to sit underneath the piano and listen, or climb up and watch as the hammers and dampers danced on the strings.At age five I begged for piano lessons, and my wish was granted. I studied classical piano for the next twelve years, including additional classes in music theory and composition during my high school years.
But in addition to my formal studies, I was also interested in popular music. I had several books of popular songs that I spent lots of time just messing around with. Most popular music books include both a piano score and chord symbols for guitar players. Since I knew music theory, I could use the chord symbols to create my own arrangements of the songs. Sometimes my arrangements were a blend of the provided piano score and other things I thought up based on the chord symbols...
Read the rest of this interview at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/karenf.html