18-year-old born with 4 fingers touches people's hearts with his piano-playing skills
The fact that Darrius Simmons is missing six fingers since birth was not an impediment when he decided to learn how to play the piano. Now, at 18, he has already played at one of the most prestigious venues in America and created his first composition.
Simmons, from Warren, Ohio, is a vivid proof that hard work and determination are essential to achieving our dreams. He was born with three fingers on his right hand and one on his left, and as a child, he had both legs amputated.
But when his grandfather introduced him to the piano, Simmons knew he had to try and play the instrument. He taught himself how to play at 10-year-old, and while finding the right technique that would allow him to play was not easy, constant practice and determination made him the musician he is today.
MEETING ONE OF THE GREATEST
Darrius started to post videos the piano on YouTube at 15, and because of his condition, he went viral immediately. Among the millions of people he captivated with his gift, was the renowned South Korean pianist Yiruma.
The award winner pianist invited Simmons to his concert at Carnegie Hall, in Manhattan, one of the most prestigious music venues which has housed music legends like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington.
They met just one hour before the show, but Yiruma was so impressed and so inspired by Darrius that he decided to invite him on stage to perform. “All those determination and all that, I learn from you, really," Yiruma told Darrius on their meeting. "I have so many things that can be learned from you."
Impressed by the teenager’s ability, Yiruma told him "It's just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps, you must find it really difficult?" but Darrius reassured the musician that it wasn’t that difficult.
“I like to show people that I can do things that you think I may not be able to do, and I think piano was a great way to show that,” he told NBC.
"I was so worried for him when he was born. But he took off crawling, and when he could talk, the most you would ever hear him say is, 'I can do it! I can do it!' I knew it would be fine and he's proving it," Darrius' mom, Tamara Simmons, told WKYC.
Yiruma advised Darrius to start working on his own compositions, and the boy took it to heart. He recently revealed his first composition “Dreams are Forever,” a beautiful piece that has earned over 10 million views on his Facebook page.
He also started his own YouTube account to let people know a bit more about his life and revealed a few months ago that he got a call from the reality competition “America’s Got Talent,” so is possible that he will be making his TV debut on the show next year.
"I’m just glad that I inspired people and made somebody’s day,” he said. “That’s all I really wanted to do.”