If you know the name Umi Garrett, it's probably due to a certain performance of hers on the Ellen Degeneres show, which undoubtedly will go down in history as one of the cutest musical performances to ever be televised.
Umi, who was only eight years old at the time, won our hearts with her gifted piano skills and enviable cotton candy frock. She also has a pretty adorable Twitter.
Now, almost five years later, Umi is preparing herself for teenage life, although her busy schedule allows for more travel and less pep rallies. We spoke to Umi on the phone to learn more about the day-to-day life of a budding musical genius. Umi's ebullient spirit spilled out in her terse responses, whether discussing spreading her music around the world or her love of One Direction.
How long have you been playing piano? How did you first get involved with it?
When I was three I asked my mom if I could play violin but she said no, because she said it's too difficult. When I was four I asked if I could play piano and I started... and I kept doing it.
I don't know, I guess piano spoke to me more than violin.
How many hours a day do you practice?
Four hours a day. I started homeschooling last year, taking classes online, so I can study even if I am traveling or going to a concert somewhere.
Do you think you'll continue with homeschool?
I want to go to high school but it depends on my schedule.
What is your daily life like outside of piano?
I like to draw a lot. I like to read a lot. I like going outside sometimes too.
What has been one of your favorite memories of your artistic career so far?
When I visited Tōhoku, where the tsunami came to Japan two years ago, and I performed for the elementary children there. It was a really memorable experience.
What does this year look like for you?
I am going on tour around America!
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
I listen to classical most of the time but I do listen to pop sometimes. Whatever is really on the radio -- I really like One Direction.
Check out Umi's mad skills below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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