Monday 18 June 2018

WATCH: Syrian refugee(14) teaches herself to play piano in under six months at Mosney and people are amazed at how good she is

Rachel Farrell

A 14-year-old Syrian refugee based in Ireland has left people with "no words" after self-teaching herself piano in just 6 months.

Alma Harrak from the Syrian capital Damascus has never taken piano lessons but was determined to learn how to play.

"When I was in my country I really dreamed to learn how to play the piano," Alma told RTÉ News.

Alma doesn't own a keyboard but used YouTube videos to teach herself how to master the musical instrument at the Mosney Accomodation Centre, Co. Meath. 

"Every time I play I just go to another world. When I'm stressed, when I'm happy, when I'm sad, I go and start playing the piano.

"I learned some songs by ear, but I watch YouTube videos to help me with my finger movements."

Alma's family experienced years of separation during the Syrian civil war. Her mother Hanadi Wanli said her daughter's piano skills were a huge surprise.

"I didn't understand how she could do that, because I didn't hear her play before and she didn't have any classes for piano."

Founder of the Mosney Creative Arts group Siobhan Quinlan said there were "no words" to describe her quickly formed talent.

"It's a little bit scary. Being able to see a young person develop and refine themselves through music- there are no words really," she said. 

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