KUALA LUMPUR: Seven-year-old Elu Low Yue Han has made history by setting a new record in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) as the youngest Malaysian to complete the Grade 8 level in piano.
The pupil from elc International School in Sungai Buloh took up piano lessons at the age of six. She completed Grade 8 in just eight months.
Ironically, Elu started learning the violin first.
“I like to play the piano because I enjoy the tunes and melody it makes,” said the girl whose favourite composer is Mozart.
For now, Elu has started with the Licentiate of Trinity College of London and wants to go all the way.
Her prowess in violin is obvious, too.
She won silver and gold respectively in the Euroasia Strings Competition 2018 and the 5th Hong Kong International Music Festival held earlier this year.
But the musical prodigy is determined to study medicine and become a doctor, following in her aunts’ footsteps one day.
Elu’s piano teacher, Loh Chia Peng from Eighty-8 Keys Music School, said it was rare for a child at such a tender age to achieve Grade 8 in the piano exam.
“Most seven-year-olds are only working with lower grade level pieces, probably grades 1 to 3. Grade 8 being the highest level of the graded exam not only requires good technical skills, it also demands an ability to play with proper styles and skills.
“The exam repertoires are technically demanding and long, each one in different musical styles,” said Loh.
Elu, he said, had been hardworking and enthusiastic.
“She is a musically talented child who enjoys playing the piano,” he said.
An elated mother Sia Yee Ting was thankful to Loh who spotted Elu’s talent and encouraged her to pursue Grade 8 not long after she started Grade 1.
Sia, a 43-year-old homemaker, believed it was important for parents to nurture their children’s talents because “they absorb knowledge like a sponge”.
“All children are talented in different ways. I had doubts about her capability at first but realised she really could do it when she started playing.
“I make it a point to ensure Elu practises at least 20 minutes, four times a week although I don’t force her to do so daily as she will be tired after classes end at 4pm,” she said.
The proud mother of two had attempted to learn the piano with Elu.
“I couldn’t keep up with her, she was just too fast!” she said.
Elu’s father Simon Low Say Boon, 42, who runs his own business, said he was happy and surprised that his daughter got to Grade 8 in such a short time.
MBR administrative and research assistant Nurul Syahirah Mohd Yusof, who presented Elu with the certificate on Monday, said it was important to give recognition to talented people.
“Elu is so young but she managed to achieve Grade 8 in piano. She can serve as an inspiration and motivation to others,” said Nurul Syahirah.