Rosedale boy, 10, wins national gold
Rosedale’s Nicholas Yeh had a golden moment on Jan. 12.
The 10-year-old scored top honours on his Grade 5 piano exam, garnering him a national gold medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
The Rosedale Public School student later took a break from practising his chord progressions to chat with the Town Crier on the phone, admitting it’s not just about the competition with his peers.
“It’s mostly about doing fun things, and making sure you don’t do anything wrong,” he said. “You have to practise hard as well.”
How much pratice?
“Well, I did a lot,” Nicholas admitted. “Every day I do it for an hour, mostly in the afternoon.”
There to help him with the piano are his parents, Andrew Yeh and Stacey Kwan. They are both adept in piano themselves, and enrolled their son in lessons at age 5.
Andrew Yeh admitted the point person for practising was Nicholas’ mom, especially with the technical portion of the Grade 5 test, when talking about his son’s gold medal performance.
“It’s a team effort,” he said. “Definitely, between the practising and to complete the gold medal requirements there’s a component of the theoretical side called the rudiments of theory that he had to complete.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as adept as Stacey was in completing those requirements, and she’s been the primary tutor in getting him ready for that exam every year. She’s done an admirable job in getting him ready.”
Practising has paid off, Nicholas says.
“It makes me feel great playing in front of people, but the truth is I’m really good under pressure,” he admitted, adding he was both impressed and surprised at winning gold.
When not working hard on his theory, Nicholas enjoys playing basketball, tennis and practising his photography on a new SLR camera.
The elder Yeh said his son had fun taking pictures during a family trip to Costa Rica.
Nicholas’ next 88 keys pursuit, one he’ll be training hard for with conservatory teacher Ling-Shin Sasaki, is his Grade 7 test.
There’s no minimum age requirement to write it but, like an old pro, he’s not worried — much.
“The truth is, I’m actually worried just a little,” he said, flatly. “That is all.”