Pennsylvania boy overcomes challenges to become piano prodigy


A Pennsylvania boy isn’t letting any challenge stop him from becoming a piano prodigy.

Talented student musicians performed at the Grand Piano Recital in Penbrook on Sunday. One 12-year-old stole the show.

“I just like all types of songs,” said Byron Dissinger. 

Dissinger is a master of his music.

“If it’s a fast one or a slow one, it just changes the emotion,” he said.

The 12-year-old has been playing the piano for just five years.

“As a parent and not being in the music field, it’s like, do all kids progress this quickly? Is it him? Is it something special?” Byron’s mother Andrea Dissinger said. 

But Byron is not just any pianist.

“Being on the spectrum of autism and with his visual impairment, it’s been good to have this in his life,” said Andrea Dissinger. 

Byron has what’s called Rod/Cone Dystrophy, which affects all aspects of his vision.

“With my peripheral field loss, sometimes my hands go out of sight and I just have to feel where I’m going,” he said.

“I just think the amount of practice he puts into it. Your fingers just kind of learn where to go,” said Andrea Dissinger.

Learning the instrument was no easy task.

“I just started out slowly,” said Byron Dissinger. “My first song just had two keys in them, repeating over and over again.”

Byron got the hang of it quickly.

“It’s been rewarding. He definitely has a gift for playing,” said Andrea Dissinger. 

Give him a complicated classic, and you’re sure to be impressed. He’s racking up awards, too.

The piano prodigy has played at Carnegie Hall multiple times.

“I’m sure he’ll go to college for music, but he loves math also. Maybe he’ll do both,” said Andrea Dissinger.

For now, he’s just focused on nailing every note. 

“I just have fun doing it,” he said.

Byron is preparing for his own solo concert in Shavertown on June 8.

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