Pure artistic talent can come from the most unexpected places. On the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 program, “The Piano,” 13-year-old Lucy was introduced to the world as one such musical phenomenon.
Hosted by TV personality Claudia Winkleman, “The Piano” includes two judges – singer-songwriter Mika and renowned pianist Lang Lang – as it aims to pick out the country’s best amateur musical talent from a set of participants who play on a public piano at various UK train stations.
Lucy appeared in its Feb. 22, 2023, episode and came into the show with what some would consider serious disadvantages. Not only was Lucy blind after being diagnosed with cancerous tumors in the eyes as a child, but she also had a chromosomal abnormality that left her neurodiverse, alongside having developmental and learning difficulties. As Lucy was guided to the piano by her teacher, Daniel Bath, he placed her fingers on the keys and told her she would play Nocturne in B-flat minor from Chopin’s Opus 9, No. 1.
The two judges were stunned by the fact Lucy would take on such a complicated piece, and nothing prepared them for what came next: her flawless execution. Lucy’s fingers flew gracefully over the piano keys with effortlessness and sophistication, leaving Lang Lang in disbelief. “It’s unbelievable that she can play the suites. How did she study? This is incredible,” Lang Lang remarked. As Lucy’s dextrous fingers moved with precision, Mika could only stare in awe.
Lucy also left the crowd at the station in tears before wrapping up her recital. “I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say,” Lang Lang said to Mika, who responded they were both “completely flummoxed” by Lucy’s performance.
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According to Lucy’s mother, Candice, her daughter showed a flair for music from a young age. Since then, she has been under the tutelage of Bath, a special needs piano teacher who worked with the Amber Trust, an organization that helps visually impaired children in the UK fulfill their musical potential.
According to Bath, Lucy had an inherent inclination and talent for the piano. In a short documentary, he said upon first meeting her, he told himself, “Here’s a girl for whom the music is important. And it could be a way of unlocking her language, her social skills, and, above all, her enjoyment of life.”
In the film, we also see how Lucy manages to learn the elaborate and complex piano pieces she plays. To teach Lucy a new composition, Bath, who is seated next to her at the piano, puts one arm around her and begins to play as Lucy keeps her hands on his.
“I will play the entire piece to her and then I will ask Lucy to have a go, and she will play what she remembers of the piece,” he said. He added in the later stages of learning a piece, Lucy will play with his hands over hers before she picks it up, and he lets go completely.
The Amber Trust founder Adam Ockelford agreed Lucy was a natural when it came to music. He said:
“Wherever she is, whatever she hears music, she’ll start to pick that up and she’ll start trying to reproduce it herself. So she really is, like so many children with autism, self-directed. You can’t teach Lucy, you can only help her to learn. You can guide that journey. And her brain decides what it is she needs to learn next, and she will do it.”
Did Lucy’s performance take your breath away, too? If so, let other music fans you know partake in the joy by passing this along to them as well.
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