Former Preemie A Musical Genius

by in Amazing Kid Stories, Autistic Children

An autistic boy who is blind and can barely speak has earned the nickname the ‘human iPod’.

Derek Paravichini can remember and play all the music he encounters on a piano, reports ITN.

He began playing the piano when he was two and started performing at the age of four.

His mentor is Adam Ockleford, who said: “Derek and I first met when he was little – he was about four and a half.

“He just broke away from his parents and pushed a little girl off the piano and played Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.”

Born three months premature and weighing just one and a half pounds, Derek grew up blind and severely autistic.

“We think that because he can’t see and doesn’t understand a lot of what is going on, other parts of his brain have got used for making music – so he’s got a sort of musical factory up there,” Mr Ockleford said.

“For Derek music isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifeline – it’s his way of communicating with the world, of interrelating with other people and above all of making them happy.

“He likes to make people happy and he knows he can do that through his music.”

Sometimes babies who get a different start in life go on to excel in ways that no one ever predicted. This boy is amazing I hope he continues to do well!


About the Author

SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

Comments (1)

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  1. Stu M says:


    I watched a programme on TV about Derek. He is amazing, and I really hope too that he continues to do well. The gentleman who was mentoring him, Adam Ockleford, is truely a saint, how he spends time ensuring that he gets the best out of his pupils, but also how he dedicates time.

    It’s amazing how other parts of Derek’s mind haave compensated for, perhaps, what he hasn’t got. I hope he’s happy in that he’s found an outlet that he has a real talent for.

    An amazing story and certainly one that makes you stop and think.

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