My son Shane Thomas, was born on the first day of September, 1999 and by the time he was 2 years old, it was apparent that there was something very unusual about him. In particular, Shane appeared to be super intelligent and was able to plan his daily viewing on sky plus. We only realised this, when lots of pop up reminders for children's programmes, kept coming up on the TV screen. He could also memorise complex routes, dozens of phone numbers and put jigsaw puzzles together, incredibly fast.
Shane started to have a keen interest in playing the piano, when he was three years old and for no apparent reason, drew a time signature perfectly, which he went around showing people. He insisted that he could actually play a piano, if he was given access to one. Unfortunately, his mother thought the whole thing was a lot of nonsense. Shane decided to use an old rug as an imaginary piano, which he drew piano keys on.
One unforgettable day, when Shane was six years old, we were standing side by side, looking into a car showroom, when he looked up at me and said- " when I get older, everyone's going to know who I am?"
I was completely stunned by this, because it's not the kind of thing you expect your six year old son to announce. This was before he sat at a piano and he exuded such confidence that it gave me goosebumps.
I asked him to repeat what he had just said, which he did, but didn't explain how it would come about.
About a year passed and Shane went shopping with his Nan and he somehow persuaded her to buy him his first piano. The piano arrived and he couldn't wait to play it. He asked in a grumpy voice, why did you make me wait so long? By the end of the day, he was able to play recognisable tunes, using both hands. He could actually play and it was for real. After three weeks, Shane felt confident enough to start composing his own music and I sensed there was something magical in the air. He was literally dreaming up one piece after another, not even sitting at the piano to compose, but doing everything in his head, mostly when he was at school. Then he would come home and ask me if I wanted to hear the composition?
Two years passed and Shane was playing grade 8 pieces without having a single piano lesson. I explained what was happening to a piano teacher and he suggested that I contact the world famous, Yehudi Menuhin Music School, which I did. They were keen to meet Shane and he was asked to perform some of his music. They also put him through some musical tests. After a few days, I received a letter from the headmaster of the school, saying that they had never met another person like Shane before.
He would go as far as to say that he was like a young Mozart. I thought I should inform the press about this and before we knew it, Shane became an International news story. He appeared on national television with celebrities and was featured in newspapers across the world, as Britain's Mozart. However, Shane has never agreed with such a comparison. Shane has a great deal of knowledge about the history of classical music and has studied Mozart's entire life story.
Shane has gone from strength to strength, getting signed to E.M.I. music publishing aged 10. Winning a young composers award, aged 11. Performing to Royalty and exceeding all expectations as a composer.
He is now a cellist and a percussionist. His most recent achievement was picking up the Olive Croft piano award last month. He competed against all comers, including some very capable Chinese pianists and got first place. The prize was a a beautiful sculpture of Mozart himself.
Shane is just about to release a single and his album will follow soon after.