Nick Vujicic, Ototake Hirotada (乙武 洋匡), are amazing life fighters. They were both born armless and legless, and yet they never gave up their believes and dreams. The former one works as a preacher, and he is a great story teller. I mean, his personal story really motivates audience and help us think positively. Same as Ototake Hirotada, who works as a teacher, and leads a normal life. They both can swim, play balls, do pretty much everything most people do. They play hard and work hard. But can a one-handed person be a pianist?



The first time I learned about Piano Concerto for the Left Hand by Ravel, I was little. If I remember it right, he wrote such music for pianists who lost their right hands during wars. Little did I know, some people in the world who were born armless can truly become piano players.

我第一次聽到左手鋼琴練習曲(協奏曲),就是拉威爾寫的。當時是聽比利時鋼琴家Peter Rytzen彼得李程電視上的演奏。如果不看他的手,確實不知道他真的只用單手彈。(彼得李程並非單手鋼琴家。) 如果沒記錯,拉威爾之所以寫左手鋼琴協奏曲,是因為有些鋼琴家在二戰的時候失去右手,所以拉威爾才譜曲,讓他們還有機會彈鋼琴。很偉大的夢想,但當時,我並不知道在現代這個和平世界,有人生來只有單手,卻擁有這個偉大的夢想,而且還實現當鋼琴家的夢想。


I read the BBC news today, which was just WOW - really unbelievable. Nicholas McCarthy, a 23-year-old Briton, was born with only one hand, but his parents treated him as if he had both hands. He can ride a bike, and most surprisingly, he graduated from the Royal College of Music.

我今天在BBC新聞看到這則獨手鋼琴家的新聞,一整個就是很震撼,哇,不可思議。Nicholas McCarthy (尼克拉斯 麥卡錫),一位23歲的英國鋼琴家,天生就沒有右手,可是他的父母對待他的方式,就像乙武洋匡的父母對待乙武洋匡的方式,都是將他們視為四肢健全的人。Nicholas McCarthy (尼克拉斯 麥卡錫)會騎腳踏車,而其中最讓人敬佩的是,他是第一位從英國皇家音樂院畢業的獨手鋼琴家。根據BBC新聞,Nicholas McCarthy(尼克拉斯 麥卡錫)的父親從Nicholas McCarthy小的時候就鼓勵他勇於挑戰別人認為Nicholas McCarthy做不到的事情。他們也從不阻止孩子想做的事情。全心支持、給予協助,很開明的父母。


You guys might be familiar with similar news -  a Chinese girl who's got only a left hand, and yet she could play the piano. Her dream might be simple to many young girls, but for someone like her, it's a great dream. She wants to be a good kindergarten teacher who can play beautiful music to children. Their stories are truly inspiring. Dream big, and just do it - you really can make it.

可能你們之前也看過中國河南的無手指鋼琴手鄭桂桂。一位天生只有左手的女生,她想當個稱職的幼稚園老師,為孩子們演奏美妙的音樂。這個夢想,凡是學過鋼琴的人可能都覺得不足微道,但是對一位只有左手的人,這夢想很偉大。力克胡哲、乙武洋匡、鄭桂桂跟Nicholas McCarthy,他們的故事告訴我們,不要放棄築夢,但更重要的是,要想辦法逐夢 (追求夢想、實現夢想)。

P.S. I like Nicholas McCarthy's accent. Nicholas McCarthy講英語的口音真好聽。



One-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy 'an inspiration'


As a teenager seeking his first place at a school for young pianists, Nicholas McCarthy was refused an audition and told he would never succeed.


Having one hand, the head teacher told him, would always hold him back and it was better not to waste his and other people's time.

While some might have given up, Mr McCarthy went on to become the first one-handed pianist known to have graduated from the Royal College of Music.

Of the early audition, he said: "It was soul crushing because that's all I wanted to do.

'How is this possible?'

"I could feel it would be an uphill struggle, but it made me more determined, I'm quite a stubborn character."

The 23-year-old from Tadworth, in Surrey, was born without his right hand.

He taught himself to play an electric keyboard as a young boy, but did not start piano lessons until he was 14.

Mr McCarthy said he had planned to become a chef but changed his career path the moment a friend played him a piano sonata by Beethoven, which "dumbfounded" him.

At the age of 17 he secured a place at the junior department of London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, winning the annual piano prize.

He then went on to the prestigious Royal College of Music in London, graduating last month.

The college's head of keyboard, Prof Vanessa Latarche, said her pupil had been "incredibly enterprising" in overcoming some big challenges such as developing the stamina to present a 50-minute recital with one arm.

"He has been a great inspiration to many of his fellow students in showing what it is possible to achieve with a disability," she said.

Mr McCarthy is a member of Britain's first disabled orchestra - the paraorchestra - which played to paralympic athletes last month to welcome them to London.

"When I first joined the orchestra, a couple of the musicians who are partially sighted and blind didn't believe I was playing with one hand, that was a big compliment to me," he said.

"The music is all written for the left hand alone, I'm not changing anything, I'm playing the music as it was written.

"It's written very cleverly, but you've got to be very quick and good with the pedalling to sustain the bass notes while playing the top notes."

Ravel, Prokofiev and Bartok are among the composers who have written pieces for just the left hand.

Mr McCarthy said he thought a lot of people came to see him perform "for curiosity and think 'how is this possible?'"

"For many, the first reaction is astonishment, that wow factor. I've had some people who thought I'd played with a backing track, but it is just me and my left hand."

Next week he will perform in Malta at the offices of the country's prime minister and in September he will headline his first evening concert at Fairfield Halls in Croydon.

Mr McCarthy's self-determination and belief were instilled in him from an early age by his non-musical parents Ray and Julie.

Salesman Ray, 46, said he always let his son do things people said he could not do.

He said his son was one of the first among his peers to ride a bike after he adapted it to put both brake levers on the left-hand side.

"You can allow to be defined by society, by colour, race, creed or disability, but if you decide you're not going to, the world's your oyster," he said.


P.S. The sentence "the world's your oyster" was qupted/inspired by Shakespeare's "The world's mine oyster" from The Merry Wives Of Windsor.

Nicholas McCarthy, Left Handed Pianist plays Prelude and Nocturne Op.9 by Alexander Scriabin
Nicholas McCarthy Left Handed Pianist:
One-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy 'an inspiration':



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