The oldest child of the Van Bibber clan is all kid, down to his untucked shirt that caught his mom’s eye.
“I know, I untucked it on purpose,” says Alex Van Bibber.
Ten-year-old Alex is an avid reader and likes to play with Legos.
But Alex also can move out of his boy world and into the realm of the music master in the making. His warming up process begins even before he sits down to play.
“If I go up there my fingers aren't ready sometimes, they will misbehave. Then, I mess up and I really don't like to mess up,” said Alex.
Over time, he’s developed a successful routine. After all, he’s been playing since the ripe old age of 3.
His mother is a pianist and remembers his early interest.
“He actually wanted to play “Oh Suzanna” and he was at the piano tinkering around. He got upset - he said ‘I can't make the right sounds,’” said Adrielle Van Bibber.
He took lessons and amazed people who listened to him in no time.
“It was clear very early that he had more than an average gift. He has a passion for it,” said Adrielle.
His passion drives him to sometimes practice three hours a day, tackling the major composers.
He submitted a video of his work, and won the Suzuki Association of the Americas Concerto Contest. It’s an international competition for kids Alex’s age and older.
The acceptance letter said that the evaluators thought the audition performance was wonderful. It tickled his mother who battles performance anxiety.
“She hugged me so hard, it crushed my Lego creation,” said Alex.
His father takes credit for passing his showmanship onto Alex, but he says it was Adrielle who gave their son his piano technique.
“I am so proud of the fact he's taken this raw talent and worked very hard to develop it,” said Ryan, Alex’s father.
He’s worked his fingers to the point that he says they have a mind of their own.
“I use the piano time to rest my brain, when it comes to hard parts, I wake it up to give my hands a boost to play it right,” said Alex.
His motivation is as pure as his child-self. Alex says he just wants people to be happy when they hear the music.