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#CommunityVoices | Becoming a Violin Prodigy at Age 3

Just shortly after moving to a new country from Japan, Naoyuki smoothly found his haven by joining the Japanese orchestra in Shanghai as a violinist. As the youngest member of the orchestra, he had the opportunity to participate in a concert that is part of the 50th-anniversary celebration of Japan-China diplomatic relations. This young prodigy received the spotlight from Japan’s NHK, a Japanese public broadcaster and local TV.  

Not everyone can pick up an instrument at age three, but Naoyuki surely found his passion pathway and has become an inspiration to young musicians alike. Read more about Nao Yuki’s stardom journey in our latest #CommunityVoices feature.  


Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Naoyuki. I am from Japan and in Grade 8. I have been at SCIS for about 10 months and my hobbies are playing the violin and basketball.  


What is your favorite part about SCIS?  

My favorite part about SCIS is that it is a place where everyone is cheerful and kind. Everyone has their own opinions and ideas.  

We heard that you’ve been playing the violin since you were three years old, what inspired you to pick up this instrument?  

When I was in Kindergarten, a violinist played for us, and I was impressed. I was impressed by the sound and skills of the violin.  


Who is your favorite violinist and/or composer and why? 

My favorite violinists are Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Hilary Hahn, David Garret, Shigeo Watanabe and Ryu Goto, 

My favorite composers are Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Seitz, Paganini, Kreisler and Vivaldi.,  

I like Mendelssohn because I played his songs during concerts, and I like Tchaikovsky because I like his music. And I like Seitz because I played his songs at a concert when I was in Grade 1. Paganini is very difficult, but I like his music.  

What are the major different opportunities in playing the violin in Japan versus Shanghai?  

In Japan, I played with musicians who were the same age as me. However, in Shanghai, I play and perform with adults. I prefer playing with adults because it’s more challenging and they teach me a lot of things such as new violin skills and how to play with musicians around me. I am the only kid in the orchestra.  


Can you share your experience of being a member of a Japanese orchestra in Shanghai?  

I joined this orchestra because my mother’s friend introduced me to them. Their music is much more difficult, and I struggled to get the notes right with the people around me, but I enjoyed this part. I am more nervous about playing in Shanghai as I am the youngest member of the orchestra. 

What do you hope to achieve in the coming years and beyond? 

I want to become a violinist. I need to practice violin more. As China is bigger than Japan, there are a lot of musicians who play the violin here and there are a lot of opportunities to play the violin. So I would like to join more concerts here in Shanghai to gain more experience and growth. 

Congratulations Naoyuki and thank you for sharing your story with us.  


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