Montesano may have a potential musical prodigy on its hands in Seth Lawson, 6, who was scheduled to perform as part of Play it Forward’s Christmas concert at the Bishop Center last Friday, Dec. 15. The nonprofit raises money for scholarships for Grays Harbor College music students.
Seth’s musical interests only began to blossom this past summer when mom Tess showed him a few things on the piano and he took right to them.
“I didn’t give him lessons,” Tess recalled. “I just played, and he was able to pick up what I showed him. And I thought, ‘Oh that’s interesting,’ because the pieces I showed him were a little complicated.”
Since then, Seth has only continued to improve, having started formal lessons in September.
It may be in her son’s genes, Tess acknowledged, noting her father-in-law has produced some of his own music and that the family was traveling together as a band and performing at various churches when she was pregnant with Seth.
“My husband’s side is very musical … and then I’ve always played piano,” she said.
Tess is quick to dispel any notion that she’s some kind of tiger mom.
“I’ve never pushed my kids to play,” she said. “Nothing’s worse than taking a kid to piano lessons they hate.”
For his part, Seth, who’s already made appearances on a handful of radio stations, seemed impatient with The Vidette’s line of questioning, though he did admit to being only yet able to ride a bike with training wheels.
Tess explained Seth currently practices piano about an hour a day, though he was up to about three hours a day during the summer. He’s a fan of electronic dance DJ “Marshmello,” she added, and prefers to figure songs out by ear, though he does study his music books and is learning to read music.
“It’s hard to know what to say about it,” she said of her son’s obvious talents. “He’s super young in being able to pick this up. It will be interesting to see in the next year how that progresses.”
Asked if he might be a prodigy in the making, Tess was hesitant.
“I think he could be. I think it’s really early to tell. … He’s very skilled. I think he has a lot of talent that could be developed. … I think time will tell,” she said.
Though a typical fidgety youngster, Seth takes on a different persona when it’s time to perform, she noted.
“He focuses in on the music and you can really see him feeling the music and tuning out everyone else,” she said. “He’s got something happening there. It’s pretty exciting.”