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Don't Call This 12-Year-Old Concert Pianist A Prodigy

Emily Bear is a classical and jazz pianist. At 12, she is what many call a prodigy.
Nick Suttle
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Courtesy of the artist
Emily Bear is a classical and jazz pianist. At 12, she is what many call a prodigy.

Musician Emily Bear has composed more than 350 pieces for the piano. She's recorded six albums, performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and worked closely with her mentor, music legend Quincy Jones. And get this: She's 12.

Bear is what some call a prodigy: a child who shows extraordinary ability at an early age. This week, Morning Edition is talking about kids like Emily — finding out what it's like to raise a child who's so gifted and exploring some of the science that may or may not explain these talents.

As NPR's David Greene discovered, Emily Bear will happily write a song about anything you suggest — but she'd rather you not refer to her as a prodigy. Greene recently spoke with the musician and her mother, Andrea Bear; you can hear their conversation, as well as some of Emily Bear's playing, at the audio link.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Barry Gordemer is an award-winning producer, editor, and director for NPR's Morning Edition. He's helped produce and direct NPR coverage of two Persian Gulf wars, eight presidential elections, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. He's also produced numerous profiles of actors, musicians, and writers.