Warren teen piano player hopes his notes strike a chord - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Warren teen piano player hopes his notes strike a chord

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WARREN, Ohio -

Music flows like a river from a Warren teen's fingertips but hitting the right notes hasn't always been easy for Darrius Simmons. 21 News had a chance to catch up with Darrius, whose perseverance to overcome adversity is helping him foster his gift of music.

Driven by ambition, one of the keys to this 15-year-old's musical talent is his determination.  

"I like piano music because it's actually like a challenge," said Darrius.

A challenge Darrius tackled head on a year ago, teaching himself how to hit all the right notes with only four fingers.

"l learn it from what I hear and then I play it to the best of my ability of what I hear from the music," he stated.

"It was hard. I mean when I first started playing getting my hand placement, that was the hard part, and that's where I had to sit down and practice sometimes all day."

Life hasn't been easy for the Warren G. Harding freshman. He was born without six fingers and the bones below both knees. He wears prosthetics on his legs.

Even as a third grader, his family discovered his gift of striking a chord on the piano at church.

"I was surprised. His grandpa got him started in church, challenged him and he accepted the challenge and ran away with it," said Tamara Simmons, Darrius' mother.

Setting the tone for what Darrius hopes is a career as a musician- spreading hope in these keystrokes.

"I think that's inspiring to people and that's inspiring to me too because at first I didn't think I was ever going to learn how to play the piano," said Darrius. "That's what can give people the drive and inspiration to actually set their mind to something and do something."

It's a melody that resonates across the board.

The song that we heard Darrius play is one of his favorites- River Flows in You by the Korean artist Yiruma. He has been committed to learning how to play it over the last year. Darrius said that he can now perform the tune in four different keys.

Plus the piano is not the only instrument that Darrius plays. He also plays the trombone in concert and jazz band.

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