Rintaro Suzuki (age27 Japanese)
  From Itami at Hyogo prefecture, near Osaka
  International Airport.
  I have Down's syndrome and no right wrist
  by natural.
  I started a piano lesson at 11 years old.
  My teacher Nobuko Adachi taught me playing
  a piano by “both hand”.

 

  At present I continue the performance activity
  while working as “cheerful waiter” at a coffee
  shop. I have been to a disaster area of Tohoku
  and Kyushu to perform for people’s consolation
  as a person with experience of Kobe Big
  Earthquake.
  I participated “The International Piano Festival by
   People with Disabilities” twice, 2009 in
  Vancouver and 2013 in Wien. And I was given
  “The Prize of Global Lovely Hot Life” by Chou
  Ta Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation in
  Taiwan at 2014. This prize is called The Novel
  Prize of Life.
  

Presentation Draft
(27th August 2018 in Guadalajara / Mexico by Rintaro's father Masato)

Hello, everyone. Thank you for giving me a chance to speak to you, today. My name is Masato Suzuki. This is my wife Makiko, and my son. Then, I let him introduce by himself. (凜太朗) マイネーム イズ リンタロー スズキ トゥエンティセブンイヤーズオールド. アイム ア ウェイター アト ア コーヒーショップ.  アイライク トゥ プレイ ピアノ。 He said “My name is Rintaro Suzuki,27 years old. I'm a waiter at a coffee shop. I like to play piano.”

He has Down's syndrome and no right hand at birth. The intelligence impairment level is “serious”. When he was born, he had other many physical problems. Until he was 4 years old, he had usually stayed at a hospital and had some operations. Both my wife and I had no experience about disabilities until his birth. We were shocked very much. We could have no hope about Rintaro’s future.

At present Rintaro is very healthy and strong, and plays his roles as a social member. Do you ask what his roles are? Yes, they are "a cheerful waiter at a coffee shop", “a pianist with disabilities” and “a person who makes everyone happy”. He goes to work 5 days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As "a cheerful waiter", he serves some foods and soft drinks and bright greetings. The sales amount of his coffee shop went up since he had been employed. He also performs a piano at various places from 20 to 30 times a year. He has been to The Great East Japan Earthquake area to console people. I can say he is happy now and makes us as his parents as well as everyone surrounding him happy.

Why could we change like this? There were some reasons.

First of all many people have helped us. For example, they were school teachers, his class mates, neighbors and people of government office. Of course, I must not forget his doctors. The disabilities and sickness which he had at birth disappeared after several years except Down’s syndrome and right hand.

[point-A] 持ち時間が15分で、かつここまでで3分半を越えている場合は [point-B] にジャンプ。

What’s more he has grown up to be a strong boy. This is because of the exercise and food we forced him and Growth hormone treatment from the doctor's recommendation. And I want to add Rintaro’s effect on all people helped him. He likes to communicate with everyone with smile. This friendly character is also natural. In his childhood my wife had to stop him to give a greeting anyone in the street. My wife and I have been encouraged by his character.

[point-B]

The turning point was an encounter with a piano. Rintaro became a student of an elementary school at 7 years old. He needed for helps all the time. He couldn’t go to school by himself and couldn’t follow the any curriculum. One day in early summer, we discovered him alone playing a toy-piano ( おもちゃのピアノの写真を映し、キラキラ星をハミングで歌う。一本指で弾くゼスチュアをする) moreover he had no text book. It was a big surprise and delight for us. I remember still now it was like a linear light shining from the dark sky. He began to go to the lesson of the electric key-board. Young single female teacher taught him some children's song played by left 5 fingers. (5本指で弾くゼスチュアをする) When he was 11 years old he had to change the class because this first teacher had moved away for marriage. Then we decided to request Mrs. Adachi. (足立先生の写真を映す) She was a piano teacher not an electric-keyboard. First day when my wife and Rintaro visited her, Rintaro played the song for kids by only left hand. (糸巻きをハミングで歌う) At that time Mrs. Adachi asked. “What is your right hand doing?” My wife and Rintaro didn’t understand. “What? Is right hand?” Then Mrs. Adachi played a song by her left hand and right fist. (猫踏んじゃったをハミングする) My wife and Rintaro were surprised and understood. “We can and we may play the piano like this”. Mrs. Adachi said “Rintaro, play your own piano. It’s all right.” Then Rintaro’s piano life started.

[point-C] 持ち時間が15分の場合はここから [point-D] にジャンプする。

It was surprise for me that Mrs. Adachi started to teach Rintaro some classic songs. The other one day I shouted. “It’s unbelievable!”. It was caused by Mrs. Adachi’s saying these words. “I will make efforts for Rintaro to participate the International Piano Festival”. The second International Piano festival by the people with disabilities would be held in Vancouver 2 years later. I thought it was a dream far away. But teacher was serious. And Rintaro said that he would follow her. Their selected song for the festival was “Beethoven’s piano sonata (pathetic), the second movement”. (「悲愴」の出だしをハミングする) I had no knowledge about this song at that time. We bought an upright piano for home-use at first time. Rintaro had a big fun, and he came to practice more. He was a high school student. Every day he went to play a piano over 2 hours. In the beginning his sound was not good, but as time passed he played better, and the melody and music of Beethoven became clearer. Teacher’s and his hard efforts led him to Vancouver after 2 years. It was autumn when he was 18 years old.

Rintaro can’t read the music sheet. This is his sheet. (楽譜の写真を映す) This is Japanese character ‘katakana’ means sound. DO RE MI… He practices while reading these characters. When he learns a new song first he tries to remember the procedure of just right hand for every short part. And then the movement of left hand for the same part. And make them together. For each part. Like this he steps ahead little by little every day to pile up these efforts. It’s not easy to remember for him. He needs about 2 years to learn the song for about 5 minutes for Beethoven’s or Chopin’s. He never gives up. And maybe piano lesson is not pain for him rather than joy. I think he believes “I will go to be able to play this song someday certainly".

[point-D]

Now I would like to for you to see his introduction video for 8 minutes. This was created by students of our near local high school. I am sorry, but just it is in Japanese. The story is almost same as that I spoke now.You can see the Japanese real scene and I will explain sometimes.

(8分間のDVD を観てもらう)
(explanation of every DVD schene)
 01. Rintaro’s mother Makiko is talking “I had no hope when Rintaro was born”
 02. This is coffee shop where Rintaro works.
 03. Narrator is talking “He has Down's syndrome and no right hand”
 04. The manager is explaining his job details. “These are cleaning, serving, selecting coffee beans and things”
 05. Narrator is talking “He has another face. It’s unbelievable a pianist”
 06. How did Rintaro begin a piano?
 07. She is talking the story about toy-piano.
 08. This is Mrs. Adachi. She is talking the story of “What is your right hand doing?”
 09. Piling the efforts.
 10. I’m talking “He has both of feelings that he wants to and must play a piano”
 11. His efforts connected with the world. Vancouver, Wien, Taiwan.
 12. I’m talking” He has learned to be able to delight everyone after his efforts”
 13. Why did you begin a piano? I only wanted to play.
 14. This is a dark topic in his childhood. We tried to hide his right hand.
 15. She is talking “When he was born I thought that I would have to support him all of life. But now he develops his way by himself. I only follow him”
 16. When he visited the high-school where this video was created.
 17. Pretty students. This song is “Furusato” like “Cielito Lindo” for Japanese.
 18. Pre-school teacher is talking that he was utilizing his remaining function. It was impressive.
 19. Primary school teacher is talking that he gave us power to cooperate every time.
 20. Narrator is talking “I learned from Rintaro that our own barrier was just the source for our growth and we shouldn't close our possibility by ourselves. His performance is telling us an important message.”
(DVD が終わる)

No one could imagine that Rintaro plays a piano. I think every human has unlimited possibilities. I'm wishing that he will complete his own life and many people will believe their own possibilities through his performance and existence. Now I finish my presentation with thanks to everyone who had a relation with Rintaro up to this present wonderful day. Thank you very much.Gracias!


 

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