HOW MANY INSTRUMENTS CAN HE PLAY?
Neil Nayyar of Elk Grove, California set an age-related world record in music last August. The Puducherry, India-based Assist World Records Research Foundation recognized him for playing 44 instruments at age 11. Among the instruments he plays: the piano, veena, American Indian flute, bulbul tarang, clarinet, ukulele, African djembe, Australian didgeridoo, mandolin, and harp.
His parents gave him an early introduction to music, playing Mozart for him when he was still in his mother’s womb.
His father, Rajan Nayyar, told TV station Fox 40 that he had read in a book that “if you give the sound to the womb, that’s going to impact his soul and heart.”
Neil, now 12, practices music six hours a day and hopes to eventually play 100 instruments. His next challenge: learning to play the shehnai, a woodwind instrument similar to the oboe.
While he does a lot of learning by ear, he also has plenty of help: 12 music teachers instruct him regularly. Five of them teach him music from China and Italy through Skype.
Does he have time for anything else? Yes, he’s also into painting, martial arts, and Bollywood dance. Perhaps he even has a few hours left for sleeping.
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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