Daley Jackson makes tickling the ivories look effortless, but the difficulty level of her playing is apparent when the notes roll out.
"I'm very lucky to be able to play the piano and be deaf at the same time," Jackson said.
Jackson was born deaf. She couldn't hear her own voice, much less an instrument. But for seven years, she's been playing piano thanks to hearing aids and a very patient teacher.
"It was really an experiment for both of us to see if she would do anything with it," said Becky Tafel, her teacher. "To get any information from me, she had to pay extra-close attention to my lips."
Tafel says the two worked through it together and focused on the mechanics of playing instead of how it sounded. It worked.
"It takes me a while to read the notes of a new song, but I know I'll get it," Jackson said. "It takes time."
That time is paying off. Jackson was selected to play during Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, South Carolina -- an eclectic arts festival that gets national attention.
"I was pretty shocked that I got it," Jackson said. "It's amazing."
Being selected for such as honor is almost as amazing as Jackson's skills.
"It's the question I always ask: How does she do this if she can't hear?" Tafel wondered.
Jackson said her new hearing aids help, but her hearing will never be "normal."
Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.
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