Julian's first real attraction to musical sound was when his father bought a grand piano for the house when he was around 3 years of age. It was a black baby grand by Bechstein, a reputable German company. Julian remembers being a small child and laying on the floor feeling the vibrations while his father played. Janice Bream remembers that her father kept a beautiful small Buddha statue on top of the piano. She would sit on top of the piano and admire it while her father played. The figure was made of exotic wood and was painted black and gold. At 10 years of age, Julian started taking lessons but like most children, he enjoyed playing but not practicing. Julian's grandmother owned a bar with an old upright piano and he enjoyed playing popular tunes and entertaining the patrons.
Within two years of starting his piano studies, Julian won the Junior Exhibition Award for playing the piano, awarded by the London County Council. Julian is granted free tuition to learn piano at London's Royal College of Music on Saturday mornings. He was only 12 years old when he was awarded this expense-free tuition. The lessons started in September of that year (1945). Julian had also started learning how to play the guitar around the same time he started studying the piano. Within the year of taking piano lessons at the Royal College of Music, Julian also starts studying the cello as his second official instrument. In Julian's young teenage years, he was formally trained in two instruments, the piano and the cello, and learning the classical guitar essentially on his own.
While Julian put the cello aside early on, he did continue playing the piano for pleasure. It seems that there was always a keyboard instrument nearby throughout most of Bream's life. Whether it was his father's grand piano at home or the upright at his grandmother's bar when he was a child, the harpsichords built by his friend Thomas Goff or the grand piano (Bluthner) he would later buy for his home in Simley. It seems that there was always a keyboard instrument around to have fun with.
There does not appear to be any recordings of Julian playing the piano and there does not appear to be any pictures of him sitting at the piano as a child despite being so accomplished on the instrument. There are a hand full of pictures of Julian as an adult sitting at the piano.