The Musical Genius (Autism Documentary) – Real Stories

The Musical Genius (Autism Documentary) - Real Stories

There is a young blind man who can play the piano like Mozart but cannot count to five or do up his own shoelaces. Can anyone explain the mystery of savant musician Derek Paraviccini?

Derek, aged 25 at the time of this documentary, is autistic and totally blind with an IQ of a 4 year old, he sucks his thumb and lives in a home for the blind. But when he sits at a piano he is transformed into a musician that few could equal. His memory contains many thousands of tunes which he can play faultlessly and in any key, a skill which defies even the finest professional musicians. Nothing is beyond Derek’s musical range. Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, obscure Russian composers, modern Jazz, Pop and the Blues — they all seem to come naturally to Derek. Uncannily he can play something as he hears it for the very first time —with only a split second delay, so it appears he is playing along with a tune he knows well. Derek Paravicini was one of twins born at 25 weeks, in 1979. Back then, there was little that could be done for such early premature babies. The oxygen treatment given to Derek in the incubator unit was life-saving, but there was a major side-effect of the treatment – blindness. Derek’s blindness, called rentrolental fibroplasia, was caused when oxygen pushed on the blood vessels and caused them to grow too quickly and resulted in brain damage. So could Derek’s extraordinary musical talent be the result of brain damage caused during his resuscitation at birth or has he inherited his genius. This film explores his musical ability and that of other savant musicians to try and discover where their musical genius comes from.

Want to watch more full-length Documentaries?
Click here:

Follow us on Twitter for more –
Facebook –
Instagram – @realstoriesdocs

Content licensed from Digital Rights Group (DRG). Any queries, please contact us at: [email protected]

Produced by Focus Productions

The thing I'd like to do most of all is to play the piano. To play

23 thoughts on “The Musical Genius (Autism Documentary) – Real Stories”

  1. I'm sorry but him being a genius or a super talented is very vague so far, it literally depends solely on what his first ever sitting at and playing the piano sounded like.

  2. Didn't Beethoven or someone like that suffer from autism? I heard that one of the healing process for people diagnosed with autism is the piano.
    God bless his heart. Thank you for sharing his gift.
    From the
    San Francisco
    Bay Area
    October 2019

  3. That's easily explained: TALENT! or gift or whatever word you prefer… Music doesn't require shoelaces or complex math, just feeling for the magic that is music! This kind of magic (skill, talent, whatever) is of the soul/spirit/subconscious, whatever you prefer; the "reason" part of the brain is only peripherally involved. You make it seem that music requires being literate and able to count, but only beginners and fakes need to count to play any kind of music (or sing, or dance), and being able to read written language is actually quite modern, face it! The mystery is less how this man can play piano, and more that anyone would think shoelaces have anything to do with music! NOT even from the same century!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *