A four-year-old piano prodigy can't perform at Carnegie Hall - because she's too young to get her COVID vaccine. At the age of three, Brigitte Xie had become the youngest ever winner of a music competition and landed a spot to play the piano at the prestigious venue. Sadly, all performers are currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and pre-schooler Brigitte is too young to get hers so was forced to pull out. While mum Nicole Sun, 32, is sad for her daughter, she knows that her priorities at the moment lie elsewhere. Nicole, from Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA, said: "She doesn't know much to be honest - I tell her 'yeah baby you won the prize' and she was like 'ok, can we go to Disney store now?'" A pianist herself, Nicole wanted her only daughter to pick up the instrument, and took the opportunity to introduce her to it while under lockdown last year to keep her entertained. "She tried to play around, but it wasn't really playing the piano, just playing with the piano," she said. The mum started teaching her then three-year-old a little bit herself, but enlisted the help of online lessons from Felicia Feng Zhang of All Talent Academy. The little musician picked up more in six months than most do in a year's worth of lessons, quickly learned to read sheet music and sight read classical pieces. Eventually, she started attending in-person lessons with Felicia in Greenwich, Connecticut, who noticed her talent and urged her to enter competitions. Accountant Nicole said: "Before the media approached me I thought she was just one of the normal students. "I remember the first time I heard her play the first piece at Felicia's studio I felt really moved. "I didn't know at this young age she could follow instructions and play the pieces." Brigitte passed her Royal College of Music Level 1 exam before her 4th birthday in May with a first class mark of 86. She practices for just 45 minutes a day, and has one half-hour lesson a week, but neither Nicole or dad Tao Xie, 33, have to nag her as she'll wander over herself. Nicole said: "Recently we have one song from one easy book called 'Down By the Bay' and she learned that song in her pre-school, so she's enjoying playing that one, she likes to sing too." She won the Elite National Music Competition last December, and then in March this year won first place at the American Protégé International Competition. The latter competition awarded her an invitation to perform at world-renowned music venue Carnegie Hall this November. This video was filmed May 2021.
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