Lead singer Isaac Slade wrote this song as a response to an experience that he had while working at a camp for troubled youth. He was paired with a 17 year old kid that was facing all these problems in life and had turned to drugs. The piano part is based on the theme of a lullaby with a drum beat the moving the lullaby along.
'How To Save a Life' gained a large following after it appeared on the hit TV show 'Grey's Anatomy'. The show's music supervisor had seen the band play in Los Angeles and decided to use the song in the episode 'Superstition'. The show featured the song again as part of the promotional campaign for its third season.
If you like the way the song sounds, then this would be a great opportunity to go out and find the sheet music and test your music reading skills. If you are not yet adept at reading sheet music, do not be discouraged if you can't sight read and play right away. Take as much time as you need to work out what the music is telling you to do.