To kill the time while waiting for his friend at Lansing Mall in Michigan, 18-year-old Monntel West saw a piano on display and began playing on it.
The teen was so engrossed playing on the piano that he did not even appear to notice that a crowd of amazed onlookers have gathered around him, watching and listening to him play.
One of these adoring listeners, Lansing resident Sara Hadley, happened to realize this young man’s potential; so she took a video of his performance on her phone.
The piece, “River Flows in You”, is a popular music by South Korean pianist Yiruma.
After West finished his impromptu performance, Hadley spoke with the teen and was amazed to learn that he did not have any formal education on playing the piano as he only learned to play one by himself.
Also, West does not read music but does have the ability to replicate music just by listening to it.
So, how did he learn how to play the piano? Well, he practices on a keyboard and learned a lot of music by watching videos on YouTube.
This is why they put a piano in the #lansingmall. Self taught!! #yiruma. Wow. Gave me goosebumps!!
Posted by Sara Hadley on Friday, January 22, 2016
The teen also informed Hadley that he does not even have his own piano to practice on and could not afford formal lessons but hopes that he can study music management at Lansing Community College.
Afterwards, if things go well, West hopes to pursue a major on music at Michigan State University.
“If I did get lessons, I think I could be better. You can always get better,” West said.
Truly amazed by the teen’s talent and touched by his story, not only did Hadley post the video of his performance on Facebook where it had gone viral, she also sent a copy to The Ellen DeGeneres Show in hopes that the host might give him a piano.
Hadley said, “It was nice to hear somebody who knew what they were doing. And he wasn’t really trying to show off, by any means.”
We sure hope West gets invited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show and receive the piano (and music scholarship?) he so well deserves!