Lee Hee Ah, the exceptionally talented 4 fingered Korean concert pianist

lee hee ah

Have you heard of a pianist having only two fingers on each hand? Well, if not, then meet Lee Hee Ah. Lee Hee Ah is a Korean pianist who was born with only two fingers on each hand and she does not have any limbs below the knees. The thumb on her left hand does not have any bones. Doctors didn’t expect her to live. But in spite of having so much of deformities, Lee not only survived, but also became a fine concert pianist.

Lee’s mother was taking motion-sickness pills without realizing that she was pregnant. She continued with the pregnancy, even though doctors said that child would not be normal. Lee’s mother introduced piano to her, when she was 7 years old, to train her hands, which at that time couldn’t hold anything. Lee’s mother hoped that playing piano will strengthen her grip and it worked. Another reason was, she felt that if Lee could master the piano, she could master anything.

Initially no piano school was ready to take Lee as student. Finally one teacher accepted the task but later discouraged her saying she was not gifted. Then it became a tussle of will power between the mother and daughter. It took Lee several months to even press a single key, since her fingers had no strength. There was more frustration when she was not able to tune in to the beat and melody due to dysfunction of her brain.  It took her more than five years to learn and play her favorite piece.

Lee Hee Ah was rejected by the organizer to participate in a contest, which was her first piano contest. However she was allowed later and she won first prize. Since then Lee has won many awards in various competitions. Lee Hee Ah’s story was covered by different media and also published in books causing a sensation.

Defying all the adversities, today, Lee Hee Ah is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. She has not only won the hearts of the people through her concerts, but also by inspiring them. When asked in an interview ‘Why do you think God gave ten fingers to others and only four to you?’ she responded in an optimistic way –

That’s for the disabled. Through the music of 4-fingers, God gave me a mission to let them know. I always thank God that he did this to make use of me in some way.

Image credit: justinspiringstories