The Next Beethoven?
Harlie Mast, Plymouth High School sophomore, has been playing the piano longer than she’s been talking.
Lifelong pianist, dancer and a beautiful voice wielding character, Harlie Mast is a force to be reckoned with. Mast has been a pianist since the young age of only three tender years. She is mostly self-taught except for when she was still just a toddler and her brother was six years of age. Her brother, Jonas Mast, was taking lessons from the time their parents made the purchase of the piano. Since her brother was actually taking lessons he decided to teach his younger sister and get her involved and unknowingly give her something to find comfort in.
“The best part about playing the piano I would say is the connection. It’s not just a connection to the piano. It’s a connection to the people around you, it’s a connection to yourself as well as, to the person you play with or for. I love seeing other people’s faces because it’s proof that someone else is feeling the same thing that I’m feeling. It’s made me realize that I’m not so alone.”
Mast, being a song writer as well, very much cares that she is able to make a connection with her audience. She wants to be the voice that is heard for the people that can’t speak for themselves.
Piano has been a large portion of what has allowed a connection to be made between Harlie and her brother. The past two years have been especially important for their relationship. “We always had a ‘connection’ but I was always ‘the little kid’ so we kinda kept to ourselves. It was only when I turned 13 that we started to really talk about stuff and get close. We became best friends. We bonded over our love for music and our perpetual energy.”
Being a younger child with three older siblings the youngest of the three still being two years older makes it a bit hard to connect until the age difference isn’t between toddler and first grader, kindergartener and standard test taker. Piano has helped them speak to each other and allow them to find each other. The piano allows helps them understand how each other is actually feeling even if the other person can’t really say it out loud, because you never need to when the person you want to tell can figure it out just by a chord you play on the piano.
Mast identifies as a B flat chord. “The key is so minor and yet it has so much meaning in an upbeat and happy song. It’s the bridge in a song. I’m glad that I found the piano because I like who I am because of it. I love the connections that I can make to my self and everybody around me.” She’s learned to play with her eyes closed because she likes to be able to look people in the eye so they can see as well as feel what she feels. “I wanted to learn because I wanted to be able to truly play with my fingers as well as my heart.”
Piano has become more like a lifestyle. A home rather than a job, she plays for herself and for those around her. She loves playing because it’s who she is.