You wouldn’t think a simple trip to the mall or a stranger’s smartphone video could end up changing a life. That seems to be just what’s happening for one young man after a woman named Sarah Hadley uploaded a video of him playing a public piano at Lansing Mall in Michigan’s capital. Monntel West took up the piano about four years ago, but is completely self-taught. He can’t read music, but he does have a fantastic innate talent for playing by ear. This natural skill and YouTube tutorials got him to viral stardom.
But that’s not the end of it. The music director of the nearby Okemos Music Academy offered up two months of free music lessons to West, and set up a GoFundMe crowd-funding campaign to raise money for further lessons to help Monntel West shine even brighter. The latest update from the campaign reads:
The GoFundMe page we set up to help provide lessons to Monntel West–in addition to the 2 months of free lessons being donated by Okemos Music Academy–has raised over $8,200 to pay for Monntel’s music lessons and even a piano–and it’s still rising! We are so overwhelmed by all the support everyone has shown Monntel and so happy that we can help to further his natural musical talent!
Let’s just say, wow! In 24 hours Monntel West has gone from just a teen with a love of music to fully-funded piano student and is even getting his own piano. Talk about a Cinderella story.