Joshua Haruki Tromans
Jullie Izawa recalls son Joshua was just two-years-old when he asked her if he could learn to play the piano.
She told him he was too young for lessons, but if he still wanted to learn in a year or two she would enroll him.
It was a year later when Joshua heard Chopin's Etude Op.10, No.3. The toddler sat very still. When the music was over, he had tears in his eyes when he turned to his mother and told her that when he listens to beautiful music, it's like nothing else exists.
Floored, Jullie realized her son needed music in his life and signed him up for lessons at the Delta Community Music School in Ladner.
Since then his progress has astounded both his parents and piano teacher, Bernie Duerksen, who said in an email Joshua started by playing pieces by ear and has proved to be perceptive and an avid learner.
And, Duerksen added, he clearly enjoys it.
Joshua says playing the piano entertains him. When asked to explain further, he said, "When I play the pieces I feel the music inside."
At age five, he won his first scholarship when he was awarded first place in the Student Performers' Guild Festival.
In their Tsawwassen home, his mom said he is always improvising, exploring sounds and the relationships between keys, something he began at seven months old when he first showed interest in the piano. Not even one, his mom thought her son would simply bang on the keys, so she was shocked when instead he played short melodies.
Like other young boys, Joshua also has an interest in buses, trucks and nature—he will gleefully rush from the piano to the window if a bus drives by, Duerksen said—yet he is also playing pieces like Dmitri Kabalevsky's Song of the Cavalry at the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival earlier this month, winning first place.
Just this week his parents were informed their son was chosen to perform in a gala showcase concert tomorrow (April 30) at the Norman Rothstein Theatre, a concert featuring only a select group chosen by Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival adjudicators and committee.
He is currently in Grade 7 RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music), while a typical six-year-old might be in Grade 1.
"We are very proud of him!," said Jullie, who studied piano herself in Brazil, Japan and Canada.
And after watching a video of a violinist a year and a half ago, Joshua decided he wanted to learn that instrument as well.
Said Duerksen, "He is a natural musician conveying a range of emotion in his playing far beyond his six years of age."