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Derek Amato

We’ve all done it: jumped into a pool without checking how deep it was. And we’ve all been chastised by our parents for doing so. It might have stopped you doing it again, or maybe you continued to throw caution to the wind, like Derek Amato.

During a pool party with friends, 39 year old Derek decided to field a football, in the shallow end of a pool:

Amazingly, Derek not only survived the accident, but suddenly and inexplicably acquired the ability to play the piano like he was a master musician! Derek had never played before in his life.

The astonishing condition Derek has is known as acquired savant syndrome. There are others like him — a quick search for acquired savant will show you — but Derek is the world’s only documented acquired musical savant. “It’s as if my knock on my head unlocked something latent, or enabled me to use some part of my brain I simply couldn’t access before,” he says.

The full 22-minute video is here:

I hear the music in my head 24 hours a day. I’ve played alongside a classically trained concert pianist, who was fascinated by my technique – in some respects, I play like someone who has just started learning, in others my skills outstripped his. – Derek Amato

Via The Guardian

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