Several actors don’t just hit the right note when they appear in dramas, they also know how to play a few notes on the piano.
For example, Henry Lau played an athlete’s manager and So Ji Sub’s sidekick in “Oh My Venus,” but in real life, he’s something of a musical prodigy. He plays the piano, violin and drums. Henry’s mom taught him to play the piano when he was only five and he learned to play the violin at six. A while later the Super Junior M singer mastered the electric violin.
Park Shin Hye was once asked what she would have done had she not been an actress. She probably would have been a piano teacher, she said in a KBS World interview. She started learning the piano when she was in preschool, because her whole family is musical. Her brother plays guitar and composes.
Lee Sung Kyung, who currently plays the spoiled and sassy Baek In Ha in “Cheese in the Trap” was a student at a music school when she followed a friend’s lead and entered a super model contest. Modeling led to acting but it was not the career she originally envisioned for herself.
“I have played the piano since I was seven,” said Lee in a etoday interview. “Piano was the number one thing in my life. At first I rejected the suggestion that I could be a model.”
But her friends encouraged her not to limit herself so she entered the contest.
Seo Kang Joon who plays her brother and a piano virtuoso in “Cheese in the Trap” can actually play too. He and EXO’s Chanyeol had a piano battle when they appeared on the reality show “Roommates.” His agency confirmed that his piano skills were one of the reasons he was cast in the drama and that he often plays at fan meetings.
Kim Sun Ah is known to k-drama fans for her winning roles in such dramas as “My Lovely Kim Sam Soon,” “I Do I Do,” and “Masked Prosecutor.” But she’s also gifted in languages and music. She can speak Japanese and English fluently. She mastered Japanese, when her family lived there, and English, when she went to college in the U.S. She attended Ball State University in Indiana as a piano major.
Kim began playing when she was five but later admitted she did not practice as often as she should have. Her peers often practiced eight to 10 hours a day.
Some actors got serious about the piano later in life.
“Gunman of Joseon’s” Nam Sang Mi had a few lessons as a child but decided to brush up on her skills in 2009 after finishing her role in the SBS drama “Gourmet.” She described it as a fun hobby.
Yoo Ah In learned to play the piano for his role in the drama “Secret Love Affair.” He only had to fake the movements for his role as the piano prodigy in love with his teacher, but he was serious about applying himself.
Kim So Hyung, the pianist who served as classical music supervisor for the drama, praised the actor’s dedication to the role.
“It seems like Yoo Ah In is a real genius,” said Kim So Hyung. “He did not know how to play the piano before but I admire the way he is able to understand and follow along when I tell him something only once.”
And he did not just move his fingers to make it look as if he was playing.
“If I give him a difficult piece to learn, he returns the next day having memorized it,” said Kim. “I realized that while he is able to immerse himself in the music and has exceptional concentration, he is really a very hard worker.”