Speed Reads

a high note

4-year-old pianist who started with Zoom lessons wins global music competition

Her hands gliding across the keys with ease, playing a piece that could challenge someone with quadruple her experience, Brigitte Xie surprisingly only started taking piano lessons in the spring of 2020 — and she's just 4 years old. 

Brigitte's parents signed her up for Zoom piano lessons at the beginning of the pandemic, and from the start, teacher Felicia Feng Zhang could see the "passion" Brigitte had for music, Zhang told Reuters. "From the lessons I observed she has a curious mind and she loves to learn."

Nicole Sun, Brigitte's mom, told NPR the first time she heard her daughter playing the piano, "I was so deeply moved." Everyone was amazed by how quickly she learned the notes and keys and chords, and it wasn't just her family and teacher Brigitte impressed — the Connecticut resident dazzled the judges at the prestigious Elite International Music Competition, becoming its youngest winner ever. 

Her prize, the opportunity to perform on stage at Carnegie Hall, will have to wait until it's safe. Until then, Brigitte — who told Reuters it's "fun" to play the piano — will continue to practice at home in front of her biggest fans.