Xiong Linghao, a visually impaired young woman who started learning the piano at age 6, said her idol is Ludwig van Beethoven, who began to suffer from hearing problems in his 20s and later went completely deaf.
Their physical challenges led both of them to establish a connection with the world through music, said the 18-year-old from Mianyang, Sichuan province, who was born premature and lost her eyesight in early infancy due to a medical accident.
Xiong's mother discovered her daughter had a talent for music early in her childhood. At age 3, she could play children's songs on a small electric piano at home.
"The piano is my best friend," said Xiong. "The piano has accompanied me throughout my ups and downs in its own way. It brings so much pleasure into my life and empowers me with perseverance."
Learning to play the piano, which usually has 88 keys, is not easy for people who are visually challenged. At first, her teacher helped her place her hands and fingers properly.