Blind Yoo Ye-eun stuns audiences in South Korea playing classical music at age five.
After reading only bad news on the media, it’s refreshing to read good news for a change. The good news comes from South Korea, where a child of only five years old can play Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin on a piano. Oh, I forgot to say that this young genius was born blind and abandoned at birth.
Yoo Ye-eun is a 5 year old prodigy in piano from South Korea. She was born blind and has never had any formal piano lesson, but can play songs just by listening to it once. She has been playing piano since the age of three, after listening to her mother sing. Since then, she has been “learning” songs by listening to music on the computer.
Like the US musical prodigies Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles, who both overcame traumatic childhoods, Ye-eun has had her share of tragedy. Abandoned at birth, she was adopted by Yoo Chang Joo, who was wheelchair-bound following a car accident, and his infertile wife. “We never felt it was difficult to bring her up,” they told the Korean magazine Woman Donga.
Listeners are often moved to tears when the Korean pianist Yoo Ye-eun sits at a grand piano and plays Beethoven’s “Für Elise”. First, though, the five-year-old has to be helped up on to the piano seat by an adult.
Still in nursery school, Ye-eun has stunned audiences in South Korea with a repertoire that includes Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven and the latest pop hits. To cap her performances, she plays along with local singers after hearing their songs for the first time.
Born blind and adopted in July 2002, Ye-eun’s talent went unnoticed until she was three years old. One day, she heard her foster mother singing a popular song which she reproduced on the piano. After appearing on YouTube and the Korean TV show “Star King”, Ye-eun shot to stardom immediately.
The show earned Ye-eun her first prize money—one million won ($1,000)—and a nickname that has stuck, “the five-year-old genius Mozart”.
“She can play the piano after listening to a song once,” said her adoptive mother, Park Jung Soon. Mrs Park says she discovered her daughter’s talent two years ago when she was singing a pop tune and Ye-eun began playing along on a borrowed piano from a neighbor. “She has perfect pitch even though she has never learned to play. We never taught her.”
Her family say she was given an old piano by a neighbor and at the age of three, surprised her parents by suddenly playing a Korean song that her mother loved to sing. Her parents then started playing different pieces of music for her from the Internet, and said they were shocked to discover that she could play every tune after hearing it.
“I got goose bumps, because she never had any music lessons from anybody. She is blind and was just a three-year-old baby. How could she find the keyboard and play the melody?” her mother commented.
Her parents are now looking for a suitable teacher for the prodigy, in the hope that she would become an accomplished pianist someday.
When asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, the young genius replied: “A pianist. A great pianist”. I’m sure she will make her dreams come true. What a wonderful story for a bright Sunday morning!
If you want to see Yoo Ye-eun play the piano, you can enjoy a video here. Good Day!