Emily Bear

4 02 2011

About a year or so ago, I received an email from my sister, probably, about this piano prodigy and lo and behold — she wasn’t Asian!

Her name is Emily Bear, and at the time of the interview, she was six years old.  She had been discovered by her grandmother when, at the age of 2, her grandmother heard her granddaughter play a C scale on the piano.  And from then on, she’s been taking lessons, composing like a maniac (by the age of seven, she had apparently written over 350 compositions), and extending her range of music to genres like jazz.  What I like the most about this young girl is that though many people stereotype and assume she must be beaten at home with a stick and yelled at to practice absurd number of hours a day, it really doesn’t seem the case.  When she performs, she’s genuinely happy.  You can tell so easily.  She’s always smiling, looking out at the audience, and she moves with such passion when she plays that she’s not like other so-called prodigies her age who sit there coldly and, while delivering a technically great performance, seem disconnected from the music.  With Emily, though, she really gets into what she’s doing, which is definitely not something you can force upon any child learning an instrument.  That takes real intelligence.

In this clip, Emily plays four pieces including Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”, which, I might add, is technically difficult as I’ve tried to play it myself.  And the last piece, “Bumble Boogie”… well, see for yourself.  Also, the third one in there is one that she composed herself.




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