A 12-year-old boy in Elk Grove, California, who spends six hours each day playing music, is believed to be the youngest person in the world who can play so many musical instruments.
Meet Neil Nayyar, a home-schooled 7th-grader, who has been named by Assist World Records for being the youngest person to play the most musical instruments. “Saxophone, flute, tabla, pan flute, harmonica, acoustic guitar, sitar,” Neil told ABC 10, and the list goes on.
In total, Neil plays 44 instruments, including piano, and has 12 music teachers, with some from the Sacramento area, China, Italy, and India. For those teachers who are far away, Neil learned from them via Skype.
When asked which instruments he thinks are most unique, he told The Indian Express that from his experience: “Sitar and Chinese Guzheng are very unique. I lose myself in the sound these musical instruments make.”
Neil, whose days are mostly occupied by music, said: “I go for online education for my schooling. It gives me some flexibility to adjust the time. I do not play games or watch TV. I use my time wisely.”
“Once in a while, I do watch a Bollywood movie or an episode of Kapil Sharma show. I do like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan movies. I enjoy practice every day as music is my passion.”
“I feel like fine. I feel like relaxed,” Neil told Fox40, playing each instrument one by one.
Neil says that when he plays his instruments, “I feel like I have more expression, more smiley face.”
“I read somewhere in a book that, you know they mention about if you give the sound to the womb, that’s going to impact his soul and heart,” his father, Rajan Nayyar, said.
However, it was when Neil was 5 years old that his parents discovered his musical talent, and signed him up for drum classes.
“In just two days, he was playing better than someone playing two years. We were like, ‘wait a minute?’ Okay, let’s give him some drum classes,” Sukhbinder Kaur told ABC 10.
“We went to piano and flute and on and on and on,” she added.
Neil is now learning his 45th instrument—a shenai—that had arrived from India in November, and he will be teaching himself how to play it.
But Neil is not stopping there. His goal is to be able to play 100 instruments by the time he turns 13 next year.
If you want to hear Neil in person, head down to Capitol Rotunda at 3 p.m. on Dec. 3 to watch him play the harp.