Today’s Music Playing Kid: Marcel Ward, The 10-Year-Old Classical Pianist With A Hell Of A Backstory

The fact that the person playing that Beethoven piece above is 10 years old is pretty impressive. But what if I told you that he taught himself to play piano by using a toy one when he was 5? Or that not only does he play other people’s songs at a seriously advanced level for his age, but that he also writes his own?

Oh, and did I mention that he’s been accomplishing all of this while he and his family have been busy fleeing Syria and rebuilding their lives?

His story is a familiar one. After an attack on Damascus in 2012, Marcus, his brother Eilia and parents Manar and Elham fled to Dubai. After relocating numerous times (including some time in the United States), the family has finally settled in Hamilton, Ontario, where it’s quickly become clear that Marcel possesses some serious talent. After teaching himself on a toy piano at age 5 and learning pieces by Mozart and Beethoven by ear, the young pianist is now a bonafide composer, racking up a collection of his own tunes. He’s also well on his way to being a certified musician; just last week he completed his level 4 Royal Conservatory of Music exam which, while not unheard of, is considerably ahead of the average 10-year-old who is likely to be tackling level 1.

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