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Meet the teenage musical prodigy who can play the world's most famous compositions note perfect but can't read sheet music

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Meet the teenage musical prodigy who can play the world's most famous compositions note perfect but can't read sheet music

Meet the teenage musical prodigy who can play the world's most famous compositions note perfect but can't read sheet music

A teenage piano prodigy can play note perfect renditions of the world's most complicated compositions - but can't read sheet music and has never had a lesson. Self-taught George Townsend, 17, got his first children's toy piano for Christmas from mum Sarah, 50, when he was just five-years-old.She noticed he was pretty good at making up his own tunes and copying songs he heard, so upgraded him to a proper keyboard a few years later.She offered him proper lessons but shy George shunned all formal tutoring in favour of using YouTube and learning music by ear.The music genius can play note-perfect complicated concertos by the likes of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, all from heart and without sheet music.He only did his first public performance in 2012 - on an outdoor piano - but scored 100% in his GCSE music performance. Proud Sarah, a marketing copywriter, from Gloucester, said she still has to remind him how good he is because "he thinks this doesn't count because he can't read music".George, who is currently studying for his A-levels, said: "I'll discover the piece somewhere online usually, and then I'll look it up on YouTube to see a video of someone playing it."The clip will usually have a tutorial with it or it will just be close ups of someone's hands."I'll use that to learn it myself on my piano and use my ear to fill in any gaps that I may have missed."I think it would be cool to be able to read sheet music, but it might be a hindrance possibly for the way I play at the moment."My grandmother reads music and plays the piano, and she was telling me how when she is playing, she has to turn the pages and she loses where she is all the time."It's things like that that make me kind of glad that I can't read sheet music."Marketing copywriter Sarah bought her son George his first children's toy piano back when he was just five years old for Christmas in 2007.From there, George's musical obsession took hold and over the years, his proud mum has upgraded his kid's piano to a full scale electric keyboard.Sarah offered her son music lessons when he turned eight years old, but George declined and continued to teach himself how to play.He performed in public for the first time in 2012 on a public piano that was available for anyone to play at the Eden Project, delighting an audience with a rendition of 'Greensleeves' - one of the first pieces he ever learned.George said: "The first real piano like the one I have now at home - an electric piano - I would have got about five years ago."I've always liked music, but I think I picked it up more around secondary school, like age 11 or 12 probably."George studied hard for his GCSE in music and scored a perfect 100% in the performance element, despite not being able to read sheet music.The talented teen has taught himself everything he knows from simply watching videos on YouTube and trusting his ear to pick up notes.Mum Sarah said she has spent years encouraging her son's talent and is always on hand to film his performances.Sarah said: "George has this incredible knack of picking up music by just watching someone else play it, I've never seen anything like it."He's never had a lesson in his life and he can't read sheet music, but his talent is just something that's come from inside him, it's amazing to watch him play."My mum, George's grandmother, was a piano teacher so it must have skipped a generation as I can't play at all!"He's always been interested in music from a very young age."When George was born, the first thing his dad and I said was that he'll be a pianist, because he had these lovely long fingers!""George will come home from school and tell me about a song he heard during the day before going into 'the den' where his piano lives."Within an hour, he'll have nailed these really complicated pieces and can play them from memory, I don't know how he does it."He can play Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven - you name a famous composer, he'll be able to play their music practically note perfect."Despite his school performances being met with rapturous applause, the shy teenager has doubts over his skills as he cannot read sheet music.At a recent one the talented teen played Rachmaninov's Prelude in C Sharp Minor - one of the composer's most famous and complicated pieces.Sarah said: "I always try to video George's performances because I'm just amazed by his talent and want to show him how proud I am."When other people see him play, they're always astounded by his skill and don't believe me when I say he can't read music."George says his talent 'doesn't count' because he can't read music, but lots of famous musicians couldn't read sheet music - there's no denying he is an incredible musician."I think he thinks I'm just proud because I'm his mum and therefore will always be proud of him, so I love to hear when other people recognise his talent."In a dream world, George has said that he'd like to compose and produce music for films, television and video games, but he's very realistic with how hard it can be to achieve a career in music."I know music will always be a part of his life, whether it's in his job or just at home - that kind of passion never leaves you and I'll never tire of hearing him play."George isn't studying music at school anymore, because he practises so much at home.He doesn't know what job he wants to do when he leaves school, but wants to stay in the music field.George said: "I think composing would probably be more fun than performing, like working for an orchestra, I'd probably prefer the composing side or being a producer, things like that."

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Meet the teenage musical prodigy who can play the world's most famous compositions note perfect but can't read sheet music

A teenage piano prodigy can play note perfect renditions of the world's most complicated compositions - but can't read sheet music and has never had a lesson.

Self-taught George Townsend, 17, got his first children's toy piano for Christmas from mum Sarah, 50, when he was just five-years-old.She noticed he was pretty good at making up his own tunes and copying songs he heard, so upgraded him to a proper keyboard a few years later.She offered him proper lessons but shy George shunned all formal tutoring in favour of using YouTube and learning music by ear.The music genius can play note-perfect complicated concertos by the likes of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, all from heart and without sheet music.He only did his first public performance in 2012 - on an outdoor piano - but scored 100% in his GCSE music performance.

Proud Sarah, a marketing copywriter, from Gloucester, said she still has to remind him how good he is because "he thinks this doesn't count because he can't read music".George, who is currently studying for his A-levels, said: "I'll discover the piece somewhere online usually, and then I'll look it up on YouTube to see a video of someone playing it."The clip will usually have a tutorial with it or it will just be close ups of someone's hands."I'll use that to learn it myself on my piano and use my ear to fill in any gaps that I may have missed."I think it would be cool to be able to read sheet music, but it might be a hindrance possibly for the way I play at the moment."My grandmother reads music and plays the piano, and she was telling me how when she is playing, she has to turn the pages and she loses where she is all the time."It's things like that that make me kind of glad that I can't read sheet music."Marketing copywriter Sarah bought her son George his first children's toy piano back when he was just five years old for Christmas in 2007.From there, George's musical obsession took hold and over the years, his proud mum has upgraded his kid's piano to a full scale electric keyboard.Sarah offered her son music lessons when he turned eight years old, but George declined and continued to teach himself how to play.He performed in public for the first time in 2012 on a public piano that was available for anyone to play at the Eden Project, delighting an audience with a rendition of 'Greensleeves' - one of the first pieces he ever learned.George said: "The first real piano like the one I have now at home - an electric piano - I would have got about five years ago."I've always liked music, but I think I picked it up more around secondary school, like age 11 or 12 probably."George studied hard for his GCSE in music and scored a perfect 100% in the performance element, despite not being able to read sheet music.The talented teen has taught himself everything he knows from simply watching videos on YouTube and trusting his ear to pick up notes.Mum Sarah said she has spent years encouraging her son's talent and is always on hand to film his performances.Sarah said: "George has this incredible knack of picking up music by just watching someone else play it, I've never seen anything like it."He's never had a lesson in his life and he can't read sheet music, but his talent is just something that's come from inside him, it's amazing to watch him play."My mum, George's grandmother, was a piano teacher so it must have skipped a generation as I can't play at all!"He's always been interested in music from a very young age."When George was born, the first thing his dad and I said was that he'll be a pianist, because he had these lovely long fingers!""George will come home from school and tell me about a song he heard during the day before going into 'the den' where his piano lives."Within an hour, he'll have nailed these really complicated pieces and can play them from memory, I don't know how he does it."He can play Chopin, Rachmaninov, Beethoven - you name a famous composer, he'll be able to play their music practically note perfect."Despite his school performances being met with rapturous applause, the shy teenager has doubts over his skills as he cannot read sheet music.At a recent one the talented teen played Rachmaninov's Prelude in C Sharp Minor - one of the composer's most famous and complicated pieces.Sarah said: "I always try to video George's performances because I'm just amazed by his talent and want to show him how proud I am."When other people see him play, they're always astounded by his skill and don't believe me when I say he can't read music."George says his talent 'doesn't count' because he can't read music, but lots of famous musicians couldn't read sheet music - there's no denying he is an incredible musician."I think he thinks I'm just proud because I'm his mum and therefore will always be proud of him, so I love to hear when other people recognise his talent."In a dream world, George has said that he'd like to compose and produce music for films, television and video games, but he's very realistic with how hard it can be to achieve a career in music."I know music will always be a part of his life, whether it's in his job or just at home - that kind of passion never leaves you and I'll never tire of hearing him play."George isn't studying music at school anymore, because he practises so much at home.He doesn't know what job he wants to do when he leaves school, but wants to stay in the music field.George said: "I think composing would probably be more fun than performing, like working for an orchestra, I'd probably prefer the composing side or being a producer, things like that."




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