Senior Nathan Vo is a Competitive Piano Player


By Max Brewer

As he sits down getting ready to perform, his mind flows with constant thoughts of how he will do. He stretches out his fingers in preparation to play his selected piece for the M.A.M.A performance. As he plays, his fingers flow so elegantly across the board, hitting every note precisely in the middle of the key. The tune is majestic, something you would expect to hear very faintly in the background at a fancy restaurant.

It all started when Nathan Vo, a current senior at FHN, was in 3rd grade.

“I saw someone and thought it was cool,”  Vo said. “My first keyboard was a non-full sized Yamaha.”

Nathan would go on to become very skilled in the art of playing the piano, competing in competitions such as M.A.M.A and performing various recitals.

Nathan usually does very well in the M.A.M.A competition placing within the top three and getting a superior rating, the highest one can get.

“After recitals, when he is done performing, parents always ask how he does so well and how can they get their kids to do good,” Nathan’s father Thai Vo said.

Nathan playing has had a huge impact on his family and those around him.

“He’s had quite an influence on his siblings, but then also he’s probably had an influence on the kids at school especially those that hear him play,” Nathan’s mother Regina Digar said.

The piano can take a while to learn, many who attempt to learn eventually just give up because either it is too challenging or they get bored of doing the basics and want to go straight into playing actual music which is virtually impossible because most songs require a certain knowledge of specific techniques. Nathan has some advice though.

“Don’t let the exercises or fundamentals bore you because it does get better when you get to start playing the actual music,” Nathan said.

Regina thinks the benefits Nathan has gained from his time with the piano are numerous..

“I think that playing is like an outlet for him,” Regina said. “I think it’s something that comes to him naturally, even if he doesn’t think so and it’s been like a creative outlet for him because if he’s not studying or watching a movie or something else, he is probably practicing.”

Nathan plans to keep playing the piano even if it is not professionally, but is not sure what the future holds for him.

“Always be open to what your child brings to you,” Regina said. “He came to us, asking to play the piano, and I had no idea where it was going to take him. So, luckily we found a teacher from a friend and we bought a $100 keyboard because we didn’t know if this was going to go anywhere and he was just going to use it to practice. He was in third grade. And look at where we are now.”