For over a decade, piano virtuoso Natalie Trayling has been stopping people in their tracks on the streets of Melbourne. But it's how she got there that makes for an awe-inspiring story.
Natalie Trayling is a viral piano playing sensation but she only learned the instrument after her mother struck a deal with a teacher.
There’s a good chance that Natalie Trayling, a viral piano playing sensation, may have never even picked up the instrument.
“I told my mother, ‘I want to learn music, I want to learn the piano’ and she said ‘we can’t,’” Natalie said.
Her family immigrated to Australia from Yugoslavia before World War II. It was a humble beginning to her life here.
“I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I asked so many times.”
But with Natalie’s persistence - and her mother’s negotiations - a local teacher offered ten lessons for the price of one.
That’s when Natalie’s world changed.
“I saw the piano there and she said this is middle C, and I put my thumb on it and I was absolutely enthralled,” she said.
Her talent was proven - she was offered a scholarship at the Royal Academy of London. However, her family could not afford the flights and accommodation, so she stayed in Australia.
Natalie went on to have four children - two girls and two boys. Sadly, two passed away.
“I don’t call it death,” she said.
“Because death means that’s it...but I never felt that they were gone.”
“Nothing is changed, just rearranged. You think it’s gone but it’s just changed.”
That would not be the end of the hardship.
After Natalie separated from her partner and her house burned, she moved to a motel in Brunswick. But when the owners put up her rent, Natalie ended up on the streets.
“And I thought, I’m free,” she said.
All that was missing was a piano - one she quickly found in a David Jones in the Melbourne CBD. She started playing with what she describes as a new found freedom.
“That’s where it began,” she said.
Her performances attracted crowds, stopping people in their tracks.
Natalie’s son Matthew Trayling filmed her performances which quickly went viral on YouTube.
“All of a sudden I just looked at it had 30,000, then 60,000 than a million,” he said.
Natalie continues to play in the streets of Melbourne, entertaining and inspiring crowds of locals and visitors.
Despite what some may perceive as a difficult life, she lives and plays with freedom in her heart.
“You can’t take away yesterday, it’s been. However things are, whatever has brought this in existence, knows exactly how to put things right and as they are suppose to be,” Natalie said.
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