Natalie Trayling likes to treat pedestrians on the streets of Melbourne, Australia to her impromptu original songs.
She has an incredible knack for spontaneous composing, and is able to sit down at a piano and play whatever comes to mind. The results are enchanting and never cease to amaze.
She loves to play all over the city, be it in hospitals, department stores, hotel lobbies, or communal outdoor pianos. Wherever she can (literally) get her hands on one!
What’s more is that Natalie found her calling for street performance when she was living on the street herself.
She prefers to go by Natalie instead of her full name, but is also commonly known around the city as Melbourne’s “Piano Lady.”
“Fifteen years ago, Natalie Trayling was homeless when she found a baby grand piano in a Melbourne department store. She asked the staff if she could play and she began to share her gifts for anyone walking by, playing Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms and her own compositions.” – Saint Mel Parish
She was brought up in a Catholic school where nuns taught her to play classical piano. She fell in love with music and was so talented that she earned a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London, England.
But life doesn’t always go according to plan, and some significant struggles resulted in Natalie’s homelessness.
She suffered a terrible loss when both her daughters passed away, and those emotions really come through in her music. But there are also lighthearted sections that dance through the air.
Her music stops pedestrians in their tracks and frequently draws a large crowd.
Now in her late eighties, she struggles with arthritis in her hands, which would hinder most from playing an instrument. But she doesn’t let that stop her from doing what she loves—sharing her music with the world.
Her fingers still move so quickly and precisely you would never guess she was struggling with arthritis!
It’s hard to understand why she hasn’t been picked up by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra or another professional group, but she isn’t in it for the money or fame. She enjoys playing for free.
”Children come up to me, people of all classes and all walks of life. I just love being there and I feel that they should hear the music. The way I feel when I play and the way I feel when I’m among the people, it just feels really good.” – Natalie
Natalie had never played this song before and hasn’t played it since.
She always follows her heart and plays whatever tune comes to her mind in the moment—a skill not many people can confidently say they have! In addition to the thousands of people lucky enough to come across her playing on the street, this video has earned more than nine million views from people around the world.
It’s beautiful how he’s taken the initiative to share his mother’s gift with more than just her audience in Melbourne.
COVID-19 has been hard on her since she hasn’t been able to play in public since the lockdown began.
Australia has had just over 12,000 confirmed cases nationwide, but have implemented precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Which includes the removal of community pianos. And even if she could still play…there are next to no people walking around the city center at the moment!
“I am looking forward to the day I (and all of us) can be back among the people.” – Natalie
We hope so too!
Watch the video below for her beautiful and spontaneous performance:
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