A 17-year-old musician who was born with only four fingers has taught himself to play the piano with such skill he has already made his Carnegie Hall debut.
Darrius Simmons, of Warren, Ohio, has three fingers on his right hand and one on the left, and was also born without any bones below his knees.
He first started playing the piano after being introduced to the instrument when he was a child — and while he has never received any formal training, Darrius kept practicing by himself, allowing his skills to blossom.
Over the past few years, Darrius has posted videos of himself playing the piano online. Clips on his Facebook page have garnered tens of thousands of views, as well as compliments from social media users who have been left in awe of his talent.
A video he shared earlier this year sees Darrius playing one of his own compositions, seemingly effortlessly, with stunning emotion and skill.
‘Still got some work to do but I thought it was time for me to share this piece that I made myself,’ he wrote modestly in the caption. ‘It took a lot of hard work but I feel like it paid off by making this song.’
Viewers raved in the comments section, including one person who told the teen: ‘You’re stellar and you’ve got true soul; the spirit of artistry, to go along with phenomenal talent. I can’t wait to hear more.’
‘So much of his soul in this! You can see his passion!’ another person wrote. ‘This composition is beyond beautiful! Young brother you made my day! I’ve watched this multiple times! Don’t know you personally but I am so so proud of you! Awesome piece scratch that it was magnificent!’
Darrius currently plays in several bands and for various events.
In addition to playing the piano, the teen has also mastered the trombone.
He plays the piano as part of his school’s jazz and marching bands, and the trombone with the school’s concert band.
The teenager already achieved a milestone some adults musicians can only dream of when he played at Carnegie Hall in 2016.
Darrius, then 15, took to the mythical stage after Korean pianist Yiruma spotted one of his videos online.
Yiruma was scheduled to play at Carnegie Hall in April that year and invited the teen to join him.
Darrius told NBC 4 New York at the time that his grandfather kick-started his passion for piano back when he was 10 years old.
From there, the teenager developed his playing technique.
After Yiruma saw Darrius play in person, he asked: ‘It’s just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps, you must find it really difficult?’
But Darrius responded: ‘It’s not that difficult to me, honestly.’
The teen explained he learned to play the piano by listening to ‘a lot of songs repetitively, over and over’, which enabled him to develop his ear.
His mother said having four fingers has never kept her son from playing.
After he graduates high school, Darrius wants to stay on the path he has carved for himself and embrace a career in music.
SOURCE: Daily Mail