Maryville piano prodigy receives national attention

(WBIR-Maryville) A piano prodigy from Maryville will represent East Tennessee on the national stage later this month.

Mayuki Miyashita, 14, will be the youngest of three performing for National Public Radio's From the Top Gala in Boston. She performed earlier this year on the NPR series featuring young musicians as well.

"You can express yourself through music and the piano can help a lot of sound, like different kind of sound," said Miyashita.

She started playing piano at 6 years old while living in Japan.

Miyashita moved to Maryville in sixth grade; she is now in the eighth grade at Maryville Junior High School (MJHS).

"She is amazing... I don't even know how to... she's great," said Allyson Finck, the MJHS orchestra director.

Before flying to Boston, Miyashita has a concert coming up with the MJHS Orchestra where she is taking on more than the piano.

Earlier in the year, Finck encouraged her students to try writing a simple melody. Miyashita came to her with a three piece movement for piano.

"It was just one of those things that I just sat back for a moment and thought, 'Wow, I don't know if I could do this in my lifetime and she's already done it and she's 14,'" Finck said.

Finck helped Miyashita turn the composition, "Earth," into a piece for strings. She composed the piano version in the fifth grade.

"I compose one piece each year from first grade," Miyashita said.

The MJHS Orchestra will perform her piece during their concert on Tuesday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville. It is free to the public.

A week later, Miyashita will fly to Boston for the From the Top Gala.


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