By Dina Ginzburg
Getting a serious head injury most certainly isn’t something that people look forward to. There are tons of side-effects that can occur such as a concussion, hallucinations, loss of sight or hearing, brain damage and even a coma. One man got very lucky, indeed. After hitting his head at the bottom of a shallow pool and getting a concussion, Derek Amato became a piano playing genius.
After being in the hospital for a few days, Amato went over to his friend’s house, in whose living room stood a keyboard. Amato found himself instantly drawn to it, as if it had been calling him: “Derek, come play me!” He sat down and began playing a completely original piece of music without having ever had lessons or even coming near a piano in his whole life.
He explains that he sees black and white piano keys streaming endlessly in his mind’s eye. Doctors say that is isn’t unheard of in head trauma patients. Some become amazing painters or are able to speak a new language. This is called the “acquired savant syndrome,” which means that people are suddenly able to do things that they’ve never done before. It’s an extremely rare side effect of head injuries.
Derek Amato has already made an album of his original piano music and is currently working on a second one.