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Teen Pianist Avoids Sports to Protect His Hands

Pianist Sejoon Park moved to Virginia from South Korea in 2001 to pursue his goal of becoming a musician.

"Before I moved here, I was living in Busan and studying music in Seoul, so whenever I had a lesson, I would have to take an airplane back and forth, and it would take me all day," he says. "Then one day my aunt called and suggested I come to America."

When Sejoon arrived in the U.S. he didn't speak a word of English, but he threw himself into learning the language, and these days he speaks fluently.

Sejoon goes to a public school where most of his peers don't know much about his life as a pianist.

"I'm like Spiderman," he says. "At school I don't talk much about piano, but then I go home and wear my mask and play my Beethoven."

Most of Sejoon's friends at school are into sports, but Sejoon's a bit leery of playing team sports because he doesn't want to hurt his hands.

"Back in second grade, I broke my arm and couldn't play piano for around six months," he explains.

He stays in shape by running two to three miles every day.

"A lot of musicians I know sit at home and practice all the time, but I think it's important to exercise," he says. "I like to keep my body and mind in good shape."

He performs Sergei Rachmaninoff's Etudes Tableaux Op. 39, No. 9.

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