Current Affairs
WATCH: Teenage girl with autism excels as a pianist

A 13-year-old girl who does not speak much because she suffers from autism, is showing an extraordinary ability to play the piano. She can read music at an astonishing speed and precisely identifies which notes are being played. In a few weeks, with the help of her parents, Alessia Bonnici will be giving a concert with the participation of international musicians to convey the message that even if one has a difficult condition, one may have other extraordinary capabilities.

As soon as she feels the keys on the piano, Alessia shows just what an amazing gift she has.  She has the impressive ability to read music very easily.  Alessia’s mother, Cynthia, told us that despite the fact that autism poses challenges to her daily life, Alessia began exhibiting amazing talent in other areas from when she was a little girl – in fact at the age of two, she was already able to read. While we were with her, Alessia did not speak, however as soon as she sat down on her piano stool, she began playing without even having to look at the music manuscript, because she would have already read it so swiftly that she remembers it.  Alessia’s mother said that children with autism or other conditions need to be given a chance and that their parents should try and discover what their children’s talents are, because everyone is good at something.

Cynthia Bonnici said, “we tried various approaches when she was young to get her to appreciate music, at first nothing was working but then we enrolled her at the School of Music and that was a very positive decision.”

Alessia’s father, Duncan, said he wishes to encourage other parents not to give up when it comes to their children, because they may have skills which can be discovered through various activities.

Duncan Bonnici said, “the fact that she is good at music gives her self-esteem that she is good at something, but it does not stop just at music, and in that way she can start to excel even more.”

To pass on this positive message that everyone has a talent or skill, on 16 September, at the De la Salle Palace in Vallettta, Alessia will be performing on the piano at a concert with the participation of international artists including the Spanish tenor Borja Gómez-Ferrer, Kriz Haze, composer Jess Rymer, pianist Tricia Dawn Williams and Alessia’s own aunt, Marcelle Zahra, who is a pianist in London.

Mrs Bonnici said, “obviously as a mother, and even my husband I’m sure feels the same, when we see that she is enjoying herself, it makes us very happy.”

Despite the fact that she does not say a word, Alessia with her sweet glances, and the notes she plays on the piano, expresses a message of joy, which without words, is a strong message that everyone should be given a chance and that they can achieve success through their skills.

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