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They registered James and his older sister for a piano competition in Tennessee when James was 5. He had to compete in the 10 and under class, the youngest class available. James took third.

The upcoming recital doesn't mean much. There won't be judges and it won't be televised. Only a handful of listeners will show for the short Saturday morning performance.

But when he sits at the piano, he is Air Force 1 Flyknit Low Black

No teachers in Tokyo qualified to teach James would take a child so young. Matt and Noriko struggled to find a teacher for two years, sending James to Utah for summer lessons with one of the best instructors in the United States.

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He prepares every day, often for several hours, sitting in his living room in front of a black, Boston grand.

This Thanksgiving weekend, he will play in Carnegie Hall in New York City, after taking third place in the American Protege music competition.

The piano player is absorbed, lost somewhere in the music of Mozart's "12 Variations of Ah, vous dirai je maman." You've heard the tune, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." This eight page piece is not the kiddie version, but 12 complex variations.

The family was living near Tokyo, and James sat nestled between his parents on the couch one Sunday night. His dad, then working as a senior administrator for Temple University's Tokyo campus, flipped through channels.

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"You need to change your dynamics, Bud," she says, as he works through Guiseppe Concone's "Study in B flat Major, Op. 46, no. 11."

James needs a new teacher, the instructor said. for other options and Matt found a teaching position at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Before he accepted the job he looked for a music teacher. He found Bogard, a graduate of Eastman Music School, the top ranked program in the country. The family decided: They would move to Laramie from Tokyo if she would take James as a student. She accepted.

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´╗┐Laramie boy will perform in Carnegie Hall before he drives a car

He wanted to watch a Sunday night performance by a Tokyo philharmonic orchestra.

He still is a little kid. He craves chocolate covered ice cream cones after practice and watches cartoons in the morning.

James' passion for music started long before the tuxedo tails and concert halls. His parents first wondered about his musical future, if only in retrospect, when James Nike Air Force 1 High Liberty Qs

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James' mom, Noriko Wilson, had started her youngest son in piano when he was 3, almost 4. Her three older children were already taking lessons. The instructor told Noriko to bring little James.

"His musical talent is innate," says Theresa Bogard, Nike Air Force 1 Low Junior

That doesn't matter. The night before, James is home practicing.

From the couch behind him or working in the kitchen, his mom listens.

The instructor called soon after and said they had a problem.

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Fingers stretch over white and black keys. A slender frame sways slightly back and forth with the notes.

For the next several hours, James sat mesmerized. His mom and dad fell asleep, and James woke them when it finished. He'd watched the whole thing.

Wilson's teacher, a UW piano instructor and a world renowned concert pianist.

This practice, in the middle of his living room, is mostly devoted to preparing for an upcoming piano recital at the University of Wyoming, one of about half a dozen he performs in each year across the country. He has placed third in both Texas State University's and the University of Tennessee's international competitions.

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all grown up.

was 2.

She questioned what her son could do, but figured a lesson or two couldn't hurt. Matt thought James was clearly too young. They decided to see how it went.

"Stop!" James yelled. He told his dad to turn back.

"She told us that he had already surpassed his siblings," Noriko said.

His family also learned what made James thrive: applause. Practicing was a struggle early on. He wanted to Nike Air Force 1 Black Gum play, just not that much. The prospect of praise is what made him sit there that extra hour, or two, or three.

"I can tell almost instantly when a little kid plays. It's inside him."

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