'You play from the heart': Self-taught Sask. teen showcases piano skills

Trent Montgrand said he taught himself how to play the piano after his mother bought him a new keyboard as a gift.

Trent Montgrand said he taught himself after his mother bought him a new keyboard

Trent Montgrand said he plucked away on a few notes as a child but wasn't interested in music to start. (Submitted by Derek Eftoda.)

Trent Montgrand wasn't all that interested in music growing up. He had an old keyboard until it broke, and when his mom replaced it with a brand new one he thought "I won't stop playing this."

"The only reason why I kept on playing is because I loved the feeling of it," Montgrand said.

Now, two videos of the self-taught 17-year-old have been shared widely on social media.
Trent Montgrand from Meadow Lake, Sask., taught himself how to play piano. A video of him playing has garnered thousands of views. 8:07
Teacher Derek Eftoda said he hopes Trent Montgrand, pictured, will get the opportunity to continue in music, doing what he loves and bringing joy to people. (Submitted by Derek Eftoda)

Montgrand is from Birch Narrows and currently lives in Meadow Lake, Sask. He's a Grade 11 student at Carpenter High School and his teacher Derek Eftoda took and shared the videos in the school theatre.

"We have a beautiful grand piano here at our theatre," Eftoda said.  "And [Trent]'s developed a little following. There's a group of student there to go watch him.

"He's got such an amazing talent it sounds so beautiful," Eftoda said.

"I'd ask his permission to film it and asked his mom's permission to share the video," Eftoda said. "And the rest is history."

Montgrand said the response to his playing was swift.

"You know that real, like real fast amount of butterflies in your stomach? That's what it felt like," he said. "A huge amount of love. All that love hit me."

Montgrand said his family, friends and community are proud of him sharing his talent. He said he likes to play all types of music even though he said he can't read notes.

"You play from the heart," he said. "When I play sometimes, most of the time, it feels like it's just me, the piano and the universe."

Anyone could do what I could do with work and dedication and love.- Trent Montgrand

Eftoda said he is grateful for the positive response to the videos but not surprised.

"When you see this kid on the video it's something else but to see him in person, it's such a beautiful sound and you see he is so into it. It absolutely overtakes him," Eftoda said.

"I hope that he gets some opportunity for a future in music. And if some doors can open with all this exposure, that is absolutely best case scenario."

Montgrand said he does plan to pursue music in the future and he hopes others will follow their interests.

"Anyone could do what I could do with work and dedication and love," he said. "Like that song, Chopsticks. Yeah, you could play that, you could. If you really wanted to. You have a choice. All these children, the youth of my generation have a choice," Montgrand said.

"Remember the adults, the elders, they hand their generation to us youth and we must decide what us youth must do with this generation," he said. "And I want people to follow their passion."

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition


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