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Self-taught teen gives incredible piano performance at a mall in viral video

Claudine Varela
Sep 26, 2018
02:57 A.M.
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A teen from Lansing surprised mallgoers when he did an impromptu piano performance and impressed those around him. His performance was caught on video and has now gone viral especially when people found out he’s a self-taught pianist.

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Monntel West, a student from Everett High School in Lansing was waiting for his friend at a mall when he decided to make worthwhile use of his time. He spotted a piano on display and started playing an impressive tune to the surprise of mallgoers who took notice.

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

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West began teaching himself to play the piano when he was in 8th grade. Little did he know, his talent would later go viral. Mostly playing for himself, his rendition of “River Flows in You” slowly piqued the interest of the people in the mall who heard him playing near the Campus Den sports apparel shop in the east end of Lansing Mall.

One of his admirers, Sara Hadley, took a video of him and said she got goosebumps while listening.

“It was just amazing, and I figured he just deserved some sort of recognition.”

Hadley was right because her video clip which she posted on Facebook attracted over 400,000 views.

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Soon after his performance gained popularity, West received offers for formal training for free. He was even offered a piano as a gift. An online fundraiser was likewise set up by John Dewey of the Okemos Music Academy for donations to West’s piano education in the academy. In no time, 82 donors had already raised $2,500 for West’s cause.

West revealed he learned to play the piano through YouTube and on a keyboard. He says he doesn’t know how to read music but can play it just by hearing it. He acknowledges that further training would make him a better piano player. He plans to take up music management for two years at Lansing Community College and eventually pursue the same course at Michigan State University.

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West was later invited to guest in “The View” with a free trip to New York City. He obliged and promised his best to come up with a performance that would entertain the show’s audience. He was also asked to submit videos of his performances and agreed to submit them as he still reeled from the magnitude of his popularity.

Not many people can play the piano just by hearing a tune. But Patrick and Patricia Hughes discovered their child born without eyes and unable to straighten his arms and legs had that special gift too. Their son, Patrick Henry was only one when he flawlessly played songs in a piano which he had heard his mother playing once. By two years old, Patrick could play songs by request including "You Are My Sunshine" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." He eventually evolved into an accomplished piano and trumpet player after finishing college. And though he can't walk, he's also part of the Louisville Marching Band performing in a wheelchair. Patrick says he doesn't have disabilities, just abilities, and he's certainly right.

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