George Gershwin was born in New York. He became interested in music after seeing a friend’s violin recital. He learned to play piano first by following the keys of a friend’s player piano. He learned more once his family got their own piano, and he was able to find a good teacher. (Sadly, he had to endure two not so great teachers before he found a great one!) George wrote music with other lyricists, but from 1924 through his early death by a brain tumor in 1937, he wrote songs almost exclusively with his older brother Ira as lyricist. Gershwin wrote in both genres of “serious” (often called classical) and popular music.