When you first see Geoffrey Gallante, he looks like any other four-year-old.
He loves doing puzzles and learning flags of foreign countries.
But, reports Melinda Murphy, it's when you
Geoffrey plays trumpet, and is so good that he jams with a jazz band on Friday nights.
He is, says Murphy, a natural.
The Alexandria, Va. boy first picked up a trumpet at his grandmother's house at the tender age of three. The instrument was so big, he had to rest it on his knee.
"He said he wanted to try it," recalls his mother, Beth Bingham, "and so I showed him how to blow a note, because I played the trumpet when I was like in fifth or sixth grade. And low and behold, he blew a note."
Geoffrey was in love.
The challenge, says his father, David Gallante, was finding him a teacher.
"I called about a half dozen of them," David remembers. "And they all said the same thing, 'You know, four years? No. You don't teach a four year old trumpet.' "
But all Dave Detwiler had to do was hear Geoffrey to realize he had talent, and that he wanted to teach him.
"The first day I heard him," Detwiler says, "I looked and went, 'Oh, my goodness."
Detwiler marvels to this day about the boy he says appears to be a prodigy: "After 35 years of teaching, I've never seen a four year old who's able to read music on an eighth or ninth grade level. It would take four or five years to train somebody, a normal student, to play the way he plays."
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