Hana Lebedev survived the pressure cooker with a fever
The only prescription for Summerhill resident Hana Lebedev’s fever is more piano.
While running a mild temperature, the 10-year-old aced her Ontario Level 4 examination at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning on Nov. 22.
She’s fully recovered from her bout with the flu, but Hana admitted, with her parents Sanae Hiratsuka and Ari Lebedev present, that after her coda she was ready for bed.
“In the morning she started off fine, but when she came here she said she was cold,” Hiratsuka explains.
Not to worry, though. Hana powered through her medley.
“I just went, did it, and it was done,” she says.
There’s a kinetic energy hidden behind her youthful modesty. It bubbles to the surface, now and then, and she beams when her mom shares a mutual love for the piano.
Though Hana is taught by the Royal Conservatory’s teacher, Elaine Yoshida, she’s coached by her mom when on her own.
Hiratsuka took lessons from Grades 1 to 9 while living in Japan.
Of course that means a lot of two pianos, four hands performances by the mom-and-daughter duo. But the two laugh it off.
There’s banter in the room, particularly when Hana talks about how far she plans to take her piano-playing skills.
She pauses to think of the grades.
“I want to try to go to Level 10,” she admits. “Well, up to the highest grade they have.”
When the ARCT — the Associate of the Royal Conservatory diploma — is mentioned she lights up, much to the chagrin of her parents.
“Yeah, I’m probably going to do that,” she says, with a laugh.
Piano is not the only instrument she play. She dabbles in the flute for Brown Public School’s band.
But her current passion is swimming. She’s aiming to be on her school’s team in January, and also hopes to make the volleyball team.
“It’s those fingers we’re worried about,” her father, Ari Lebedev, quips.
From sports back to music, Hana says she plans to write and perform her Level 5 in April.
What’s so special about the music the piano makes?
“It feels like birds are chirping in my stomach,” she says with a Cheshire grin.