Four-Fingered, Self-Taught Pianist Produces First Song
A teenage pianist has played at New York’s Carnegie Hall—despite only having four fingers in total.
Darrius Simmons, a 17-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was born with just four fingers, three on his right hand and one on his left.
But it didn’t stop him teaching himself to play the piano at the age of 10, and five years later he played at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall.
More recently, a song Simmons composed, “Dreams Are Forever,” went viral, receiving 3.9 million views in little more than a week.
Simmons said he was shocked when he learned of his song’s explosive popularity.
Despite his disabilities—he was also born without bones below his knees and plays the piano pedals with prosthetic legs—Simmons is making the most of his gift of music. He plays the keyboard in a marching band, the trombone in a symphonic band, and the piano in a jazz band.
When he graduates next year, Simmons hopes to get a scholarship to pursue a degree in music.
“I really want people to look away from the whole disability-type situation,” he said. “I really want them to take interest in the music that I’m making, more than just the disability aspect, because I don’t consider myself having a disability at all. I consider myself just like everybody else. I would say that I seek my passion probably just a little bit more than the average person.”
During a recent NBC Nightly News segment, Simmons said he “likes to show people you can do things you might think you can’t.”
“I don’t ever get discouraged. I’m glad I have inspired people and made their day,” he said.