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Never be fooled by one’s age. Wong Yoong Qi may look like any other ordinary eight-year-old, but his ability in playing the piano is in fact comparable to that of an adult. The Malaysian student from SJK (C) Chung Hwa Wei Sin has recently passed his Grade 7 piano examination and even composed four songs on his own.

Last Tuesday, the eight-year-old prodigy performed in front of an audience, which included Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, at the Exxon Mobil Excellent Teacher Awards. In all, he played a total of four songs, including Malay hits Rindu Bayangan and Sedetik Lebih. He even gave Ahmad a pleasant surprise when he played Tujhe Dekha Tu, the Datuk’s favourite Hindi song. Tujhe Dekha Tu was the only piece that Yoong Qi referred to piano scores. As for the other three songs, Yoong Qi had already memorised them. The songs were specially requested by the organisers of the event and probably the most amazing thing of all was that he managed to learn them all in just a week.

Some credit would definitely have to be given to his piano teacher, which coincidentally happens to be his mother, Wee Ling Long. She plays both the piano as well as the violin and runs the Oriental Music School in Kuala Terengganu. She only started teaching him to play the piano when he was six years old. In other words, he managed to make significant progress in barely two years. “He used to come with me to my music school and after watching me teach the children and playing at home, he asked if he could learn too. I was happy to teach him because I love music. Little did I know that he would be an exceptional talent. Not only has he passed the piano grades very quickly, he has also composed his own songs,” stated his mum.

Yoong Qi actually passed his Grade 7 earlier this month and will be moving on to Grade 8. However, his mother does not plan to rush him through it. “Maybe he will only complete it next year. I plan to enter him in competitions. Though he has done several live performances, he has not competed before,’ she added. When Yoong Qi was asked of his future ambition, he smiled and said shyly: “Pianist. My favourite musician is Beethoven.” For the full story, check it out here.

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