Recognition is an understatement, as Hadley’s 1-minute, 48-second video of West on her Facebook page had, as of Sunday night, attracted over 156,000 views. Not bad for West, who not only hasn’t received any formal piano training, but doesn’t even own one at home.
West said he’s really only learned how to play by practicing on a keyboard; YouTube videos help, too. He apparently has a keen sense for replicating musically what he hears.
What makes West’s talents even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t know how to read music. He performed Yiruma’s “River Flows in You” while he had the song “Loss of a Twin” — from the movie Eagle Eye — playing through his headphones.
“If I did get lessons, I think I could be better,” West said modestly Sunday morning over the phone. “You can always get better.”
This is why they put a piano in the #lansingmall. Self taught!! #yiruma. Wow. Gave me goosebumps!!Jukin Media Verified (Original)* For licensing / permission to use: Contact – licensing(at)jukinmediadotcom
Posted by Sara Hadley on Friday, January 22, 2016
West lives in Lansing with his father and 16-year-old brother. He hasn’t been able to afford piano lessons, but plans to study music management for two years at Lansing Community College. He would then like to transfer to Michigan State University to pursue that major.
Hadley, a mother of two high school-aged children, grew up visiting the Lansing Malland has wondered for a while why a piano would be there for anyone to play. Hadley heard kids bang on the keys before, and wondered if West was just another kid goofing around.