Self-Taught Teen Pianist Gives Stunning Public Performance

He doesn't even read music!

This teen's impromptu piano performance has led to a crescendo of praise across the Internet.

Monntel West, an 18-year-old from Lansing, Michigan, played South Korean pianist Yiruma's "River Flows in You" at a public piano in the Lansing Mall last Friday, reported. The teen's impromptu performance was caught on camera by Sara Hadley and shared on Facebook where his playing was music to social media users' ears.

"I was so amazed, it's crazy," West, whose piano skills are self-taught, told of his newfound viral fame. "It's made me feel really good about myself. To see people are interested in my talent -- it made me feel really happy."

Watch the teen do the gorgeous melody justice, playing the song with fluidity and control. 

The teen told The Lansing State Journal that not only is he self-taught, but he doesn't have a piano at home and can't read music. West began teaching himself to play about four years ago when his father bought him an electric keyboard, according to He didn't have money for lessons, however. 

That day West played on the mall piano -- which was placed in there as part of the Keys in the Cities program, which brings pianos to public spaces -- the teen was waiting for a friend. 

"I thought I might as well practice a little bit," he recalled to 

But for Hadley, as well as so many people across the Internet, the "practice" was so much more than just that. 

"I had goosebumps," Hadley told the Lansing State Journal of the teen's performance. "It was just amazing, and I figured he just deserved some sort of recognition."

Since the video went started getting attention across the Internet, the teen's been contacted by producers as well as people offering free music lessons, reported. While the 18-year-old is delighted by the positive feedback he's received, he hopes that his performance inspires others to be confident in their skills. 

"Everybody has those hidden talents and hidden abilities," West said, according to the Lansing State Journal. "Hopefully this shows people to not be afraid to show them."

The teen plans to attend Lansing Community College and study music management, according to


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