CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio - If music is medicine for the soul, then surely Solon's Arya Babu can cure any ailment. She is beating international competitors and quickly rising to become one of the best young pianists in the world.
"When I play the piano it's like I'm not scared anymore," said Arya Babu about her nerves onstage.
The ten-year-old Hathaway Brown student will perform at Carnegie Hall for her fifth and sixth times in December. Her first performance at the esteemed music hall came at age eight.
"I was very, very nervous because that was my first time and I didn't know how I would play and if I was going to play a wrong note," said Babu.
She finished with a flawless performance. Now Arya's talents are taking her on an international tour of Italy, Germany and Austria next summer, after winning a series of awards and international competitions earlier this year.
"I have had students in the past play Carnegie Hall, but they have not played this many times and won this many competitions," said Arya's instructor Cynthia Crotty in Chagrin Falls.
Practice makes perfect for the pint-sized student. She plays about two hours a day in addition to practicing her skills at chess and playing the violin. But when it comes to ranking her favorite pastime, piano is king.
"It has the power of healing. I think when people listen to it kind of brings you happiness," said Arya's mom Smitha Babu. "I'm her biggest fan and biggest critic."
Arya attributes her success to her parents and instructor. She will perform in New York in early December and again on Christmas Eve.
Despite all her success playing piano, Arya says she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.