Jamieson Grade 3 student Oscar Shi knows how to get to Carnegie Hall in New York.
"Practice, practice and then more practice," he says.
The young student should know. Each day he practices for two hours at the piano and is now playing at Level 9 with the Royal Academy. He is also one of the few 8-year olds who has used the performance entrance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Shi had that opportunity when he was invited to attend the international music competition "Little Mozart", part of the Crescendo Music Competition in New York.
Shi was one of a small number of kids from across North America invited to the competition. He and his family flew to New York on a weekend in mid-April.
After arriving at Carnegie, Shi waited patiently in the long hall surrounded by ornately carved walls backstage as over 50 performers preceded him. Some had such stage-fright they just shut down. Shi says he was anxious, but when the time came and he was ushered on stage, he didn't freeze up.
The Grade 3 decided to play "6 Variations on a Theme" by Paisiello. The performance went very well and Shi says he felt very good and very honoured with the opportunity to perform in the competition. Afterwards, he learned he'd gotten a score of 29, the highest score in his category. Despite competing against students aged 4 to 16, Shi won the competition's top prize.
The next day he flew back to Vancouver and Monday morning, bright and early, he was back in class at Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School working on his favourite subjects of math and science. Just another day in the life of a piano prodigy.