The best child prodigies

As BBC4 charts The Story of a Child Prodigy, we uncover YouTube's finest selection of overachieving children...


This evening on BBC4, The Story of a Child Prodigy charts the journey of a 12-year-old girl becoming a world-renowned classical pianist. So to make you feel even more inadequate, we’ve rounded up YouTube’s finest selection of overachieving children.


Rollover Beethoven

As far as child piano prodigies go, this kid has got to be the best. It goes without saying that his piano playing is impressive, but seven-year-old Elias gets extra points for potentially being the best ever guest on US talk show, Ellen. Highlights include him ruffling Ellen’s hair and sagely telling her to: “be just the way you are, do not put on any hair gel.”

Pocket Atlas

While most of us had just about got to grips with geography in secondary school, five-year-old Arden Hayes probably knows more than we ever will. This is a child whose first reaction on being shown a map is that it “does not have South Sudan on it”. He’s also a big fan of Al Gore and wind turbines.

Mini Starr

At six years old, Avery Molek is already giving Dave Grohl a run for his money. For some reason, he seems to do a lot of his videos without a t-shirt on, which we can only assume is to add to his rockstar appearance. If you’ve got even more hours to waste on YouTube, this little guy has his own YouTube channel with 141 videos.

Pint-sized Pavarotti

Proving that opera singers don’t always have to be big, nine-year-old Amira Willighagen wowed the judges of Holland’s Got Talent with her rendition of “O Mio Babbino Caro”. Naturally, she taught herself to sing opera from YouTube videos. Be prepared to have your shower singing put to shame by someone who’s still in the single digit age bracket.

Human calculator

Despite being only 11-years-old, Rosa Maria surpassed her times tables a long time ago. In the video, what might look like random hand movements is actually a technique called “air abacus”, which Rosa uses to pull off some seriously speedy mental maths. If nothing else, she’s going to be great person to have around when trying to split the bill after a meal.

Watch on YouTube


The Story of a Child Prodigy is at 8pm on Friday 13 June at 8pm