Derek and Mandy both have stories that are no less than amazing and spectacular!
In 2006, Derek was tossing around a football a a get together with friends. He decide to catch the ball as he jumped into the backyard pool. Unfortunately, he was in the shallow end and got a serious concussion. After being examined and treated at the hospital, his mom took him to her house and he slept for days. Soon after, he went to visit a friend. He was sitting there talking and found himself drawn to his friend’s keyboard. Though he had tinkered around with the guitar and he loved music, he didn’t know how to play the piano. Finally, he couldn’t resist the pull, walked over and sat down. He placed his hands on they keys and began playing fluidly and beautifully for hours!
Somehow Derek’s brain injury unleashed a composer within, as the music just bursts from his being. Derek says the notes float across his vision all day long, so he eventually has to stop to play and let them out. There have been reports of others who have received head injuries who became various types of artists. However, he is the first known to have, “acquired musical savant syndrome.”
Along with Derek’s incredible new abilities, he also battles insomnia, along with some memory and cognitive dysfunctions.
Derek is the first one to tell you he has been given a gift and he is determined to use it to make a difference! Derek brings awareness to children and adults living with cancer, autism, mental illness, homelessness and people with disabilities. Derek is on the Executive Board of the Invisible Disabilities Association, a non-profit organization that encourages, educates and connects people and organizations touched by illness and pain.
Derek Amato on Ingenious Minds
Derek heard Mandy sing and was quite impressed with her amazing voice and style. Several years later, he felt compelled to get in touch with her. At that point, he learned Mandy’s story.
Mandy had a passion for singing and music at a young age. Though she began having trouble with hearing loss, she kept pursuing her dreams. She went to Colorado State University for music education, but while there, lost the rest of her hearing and was removed from the program.
This, of course, was devastating to Mandy! Nevertheless, her father encouraged her to continue her love for music and not give up on her dreams. She began training herself how to sing without her hearing. She does so through muscle memory and with the help of an app on her phone to help her find “middle c.” Mandy takes off her shoes and feels the rhythm of the music through the vibrations on the floor.
In addition to her new single release, “The Script,” Mandy also just released her third album, Download Mandy’s new album, “All of Me!”
Derek and Mandy were guests on the Steve Harvey Show on 2/11/15
Derek Amato’s thoughts about “The Script”
TEDx Talk with Derek Amato