12/03/2015 12:45 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Blind Boy, 10, Scoops Prestigious Prizes For Piano Playing


A blind boy who learned to play the piano before he could speak has won two prizes at a prestigious music festival.

Ethan Loch, 10, competed for the first time at Glasgow Music Festival and he's now been invited to play at a closing concert which will judge the best of the festival's 7,000 entrants.

Beaming with pride, his mum Larinda, from Dennyloanhead, near Falkirk, told the Daily Record: "When I watch him I know he's blind, but it isn't sometimes believable when we see what he has done in his life. We are so very proud of him."

Ethan was born with no sight at all but has been playing the piano since he was a toddler.

He started learning properly at the age of four, two years before his language skills began to develop.

He was taught by his mum using the Japanese Suzuki method and now composes his own music.

This year he decided he wanted to compete and was entered into the prestigious Glasgow music festival at an advanced level.

He took home second place in the modern piano category and third prize in the sonata class, despite competing against musicians as old as 17.

Judges were so impressed by his performances that he was picked to compete in a concert for best solo instrumentalist under the age of 14 on the closing day of the festival.

The event - now in its 103rd year - judges the best talent in music, speech, drama and dance from across Scotland and other parts of the UK.

Larinda, 46, said: "The adjudicator said his performance yesterday was outstanding and full of colour and excitement.

"He plays constantly and arranges music himself. He's created some wonderful pieces. Music is his life."

The family spent five years in Canada, moving to Vancouver when Ethan was a baby, but were stunned by his progress, seeing him walk from the age of 11 months and learning to use a cane aged two.

Larinda said: "He was completely blind with no light perception and couldn't communicate so there were lots of frustrations. But he would just stand at a piano for hours."

Dad Fraser, 38, made a YouTube channel which he fills with videos of Ethan playing so relatives in Canada can keep track of his progress on both instruments.

Watch Ethan perform here...