AS Stephen Green played the final notes of Love Me Tender the applause was immediate and rapturous.
Heaving a big sigh of relief and satisfaction the 47-year-old looked around the room and smiled.
His pride was obvious – and no wonder.
As someone with Down's syndrome, Stephen assumed he would not be able to read music.
But seven years after he first tapped the keys of his brother's old piano he performed his first-ever recital at Holy Trinity Church in Kimberley on Sunday.
He played Love Me Tender by Elvis, which was the favourite song of his mother June who died in 1993.
"It was exciting," he said. "I wasn't nervous at all. I love to play music and I practice a lot.
"Love Me Tender is my favourite song to play because of my mum."
Stephen, who lives in Nuthall and is a former pupil of Shepherd School, Bilborough, practices three times a day on the piano, organ and keyboard.
As well as Love Me Tender, he plays Amazing Grace, Wooden Heart and Abba's Super Trooper.
His proud father Grenville Green, 69, said: "To be quite honest I never in my wildest dreams thought he would be doing this.
"He played absolutely perfectly and afterwards let out a big sigh – he was so proud, he was like a dog with two tails and the applause was rapturous.
"We are very lucky to have a family friend who has taken the time to teach Stephen but he has put in the time and effort to become such a good player."
Stephen, who volunteers once-a-week at Oak Field School And Sports College in Bilborough, was taught by Denise Lacey to read and play music.
He has also completed sponsored swims for charity, including one for Kimberley Leisure Centre to raise money for a hoist so disabled people could use the pool.
Denise, a professional piano teacher, said she had never known an adult with Down's syndrome learn to read music like Stephen.
"I think it is very rare," said the 53-year-old, of Langley Mill.
"It took him quite a while to understand how to read music and he puts in hours and hours of practice. I've found it really rewarding to teach him. I think he's taught me as much as I've taught him."
This story has touched my heart because you'd feel how much he loves his mother. I've seen so many wonderful dedication stories too at the piano lessons online channel which drives me to learn to play piano and compose a music for my loved ones.ReplyDelete