OLPH student wows with grades and piano skills

Well beyond his years, eight-year-old pianist and straight-A Our Lady of Perpetual Help student Amaru Tupacyupanqui has displayed great ambition, talent and focus in just a short period of time.

Having just completed the third grade, Tupacyupanqui has already achieved several goals. His most recent, and perhaps most impressive, came this past May at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where he received top honors in the Hispanic Youth Showcase Talent Competition for his stellar piano performance.

“The exciting part is that he was playing in front of 700 people. It was a big stage and he wasn’t ever nervous,” said Amaru’s father, Carlos Tupacyupanqui. Amaru was the youngest contestant in the event, with most of the other kids who competed ranging from 10 to 12 years old.

“I was excited to win and I wasn’t sure I would,” Amaru said. “I was surprised because I was the youngest person in the category.”

Amaru credits his victory to his love of the instrument. “What I love most about playing the piano is that it has a lot of sounds and melodies. I like it,” he said. Amaru has only played the piano for three years and enjoys playing classical music the best.

Carlos added that his son’s piano teacher, Shirley Lyle, has played an integral role in his son’s success. “She really pushed him and she has the patience,” he noted.

Lyle had nothing but praise for the young talent. “He’s the greatest eight-year-old I’ve ever had in my life to teach, without a doubt. He keeps improving,” she said.

But piano isn’t all that Amaru succeeds in. He’s won several student-of-the-month awards and made the honor list every trimester. He also won first place in the school’s science and social studies fair, his two favorite subjects.

“I like social studies because you get to learn about history and it involves science too. You learn the story of scientists,” he said. “Science is fascinating. It involves nature, and you get to go out and explore.”

Amaru also wants to learn to play additional instruments, and although he’s still very young, he already has a few dream jobs in mind. “I want to be three things: a chemist, physicist or mineralogist.

During his downtime, Amaru enjoys reading and playing for the school’s soccer team. He also enjoys playing with Legos.

Carlos is impressed with all that his son has accomplished in just a short period of time. “I’m extremely proud and supportive of my son,” he said. “It’s natural for him to learn.”

He also stressed the significance of parents encouraging their children. “It’s very important for us to be involved in their child’s education. He got a lot of support from OLPH, especially the teachers and principal, Mrs. Winters. She’s the greatest,” he said. “By getting involved, you discover their ability and talents.”

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