Tyler McCuan's fingers don't have to fumble for the right notes. They seem to just know where to go next on the four foot black baby grand piano sitting onstage at Tyler Junior College.
"As soon as his hands hit the keys, it's like he's in his own world," says Tyler's piano instruction, Kerry Baham. "He doesn't ever notice I think the audience being there."
But the music he draws out of the ivories doesn't mirror his age. Tyler is only 11 years old. Baham says he's never seen anyone as young as Tyler who can match his skill. "This is one of the things that makes Tyler interesting especially as an 11 year old is because there are subtle nuances in his playing that usually don't come across until you're much older and he seems to do this intuitively."
Away from the keyboard, Tyler's life isn't too much different than most kids. "I play Nintendo, video games, go ride my go cart, go boy scouts." But Tyler also spends about an hour and a half practicing 6 days a week. "I like Bethoven. I like his music. I like Bach. I just finished the Bach Italian Concerto First Movement."
Tyler hopes to become one of the greatest piano players in the world. Baham says he has the talent to get there. "Sometimes I'll throw things at him just to see if he can do it. So far we haven't come across anything short of pieces that physically his hands aren't quite big enough to play. Short of that, we haven't found anything he can't do yet."
"Iit depends on how good the gift God's given me is and how hard I practice at it." says Tyler. For now, his practicing is a gift to the rest of us.
If you would like to hear Tyler McCuan the Piano Prodigy first hand, he will be giving a recital at TJC next month. The concert is Thursday April 24th at 7:30 PM in the Wise Auditorium.