Thank you to Joe, who sent me the Amazing Kid Playing Piano video last week, for finding the name of the first piece. It is “Flood Time” by Eric Thiman (England, 1900-1975). So I was wrong about the century, although the style is the same.
This video has generated a lot of views on this blog. I have to say I was a bit skeptical hearing and watching it for the first time, but I think it’s real. I have perfect pitch. I can tell that the now 5-year-old – his name is Andy Lee – is playing the right notes. A child playing at this level is not without precedent.
It’s speculation on my part (and some others’) that he has been taught in the Suzuki method. If so, it’s quite believable that he can play like this at a young age. This is a method that trains students to learn music as a language – aurally for the first few years – in the belief that people are capable of learning from their environment. Being enrolled in the program means creating the right environment with parental support and group class support. Reading comes later.
A child doesn’t need to be Suzuki-trained to play like this, though. Just a few months ago I had a meeting with a parent and child for lessons this fall. The 6-year-old boy was easily playing (and READING) at a grade 3 level. (Unfortunately, the scheduling didn’t work out). But the point is – there ARE kids out there who can play amazingly well at a very young age. While young Andy played buckets of notes better than many can, it was not a perfect performance by any means. There were wrong notes, it wasn’t voiced (a sophistication that will be learned later), there wasn’t a huge difference in dynamics – although certainly it was musical.
Was the video doctored? I don’t know. Could it have been? Sure. You can’t believe everything on TV and You-tube! But could it be real? Yes. I think it is.