From the moment 10-year-old Darrius Simmons sat down at a piano during his school’s music class, he was hooked.
Darrius, from Warren, Ohio, has been playing the piano ever since, unable to tear himself away from the instrument that speaks to his soul.
The teen was born with only one finger on his left hand and three on his right, leaving listeners skeptical that the boy could execute complicated musical phrases on the piano.
But Darrius is proving to those with limb differences and more that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a deep-rooted love for pursuing a passion that pushes past the frustrations and hard days.
Now 17, Darrius has exploded with musical talent despite the fact that he’s had no formal piano instruction. His focus is primarily jazz and contemporary piano and now, Darrius is dabbling with composing tunes of his own.
About five months ago, Darrius shared a video of himself playing a piece he wrote. The video has been viewed over 16 million times, inspiring people worldwide and dispelling the myth that kids with limb differences cannot be musicians.
“Still got some work to do but I thought it was time for me to share this piece that I made myself,” Darrius wrote. “It took a lot of hard work but I feel like it paid off by making these song (sic).”
Darrius is also a trombonist, playing in a number of ensembles in his school, including the top concert band at his high school.
In April 2016, Darrius even made his Carnegie Hall debut alongside famed South Korean pianist Yiruma.
Ohio news outlet WFMJ covered the amazing moment the two pianists met.
“It’s just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps, you must find it really difficult?” Yiruma asked the teen.
“It’s not that difficult to me, honestly,” Darrius responded.
The teen’s meeting with Yiruma inspired him to continue pursuing the piano, and Darrius plans to carve a path for himself in the field of music after he graduates from high school.
Darrius has an important message for those watching him play: “I want everyone to know that if you set your mind to something, you really can do it,” he said.
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