Feb 16, 2010 11:18 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Piano prodigy works on "We Are the World"

When you listen to Ethan Bortnick play the piano it's hard to believe he just turned nine in December.

"I was 3 when I started playing piano and I was begging my parents for piano lessons," he says.

"I think he was three, just turning four and he starts mimicking on a little piano whatever he hears because we never had a piano, none of us are musicians and so he starts mimicking everything," says his father Gene."

Ethan has appeared on countless shows and last month he was called to participate in the new recording of "We Are The World" to benefit Haiti.

"They said, 'Yeah, you know we really think Ethan would be great.' I said, 'Well, you know, he really plays piano that's his main thing.' He goes, 'No, we've heard him sing. We want him to do this and he'll represent the kids.' and I said, 'OK.' and the first thing I thought was, 'What an honor," says Gene.

Ethan's dad took video of the performance.

The third grader stood in front of Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, and Gladys Knight for the recording.

Ethan says, "Well that was amazing -- and I had so much fun... It helped a lot of people. The big earthquake, I really feel bad for everyone and I just want to help and help and help."

Such big talent in a little boy.

His parents say they've stopped trying to figure out why or how.



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