Prodigious Prodigies

06 Nov 2017

Have you met a child prodigy with a phenomenal intellect or an exceptional talent that sets them apart from the masses of mediocrity?

While the rest might be struggling with the conventional curriculum in school, these prodigies could be light years ahead of them and would have already started on their undergraduate degrees at a prestigious University. Alternatively, they could already be making a living by enthralling audiences around the world with their precocious talent which could range from having a musical flair or perhaps in IT, developing the next killer app that would take the world by storm, making him or her billionaires even before they turn 20!

Prodigious Prodigies
Talent comes in many forms, discover the hidden potential in your child!

What defines a child prodigy?

A child prodigy is someone under the age of 13 who excels in at least one area of skill at a level equivalent to what an adult can master in that field.

There are child prodigies in different areas of expertise such as music, mathematics, chess, the arts and even the humanities. As long as the child demonstrates adult-level skill in a particular area prior to the age of 13, he or she is considered a prodigy in that aspect. Here are some examples of child prodigies of the past:


Perhaps one of the most well-known child prodigies would be Austrian composer and musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born on 27 January 1756, Mozart displayed exceptional musical talent right from a young age.

He started playing the piano at the tender age of three. At the age of five, he had already composed a minuet (music for a type of slow, graceful dance) and could play both the harpsichord and the violin. He performed for the Viennese Royal court when he was only six years old. Between the ages of 7 to 10, Wolfgang and his older sister toured Europe, playing for kings, emperors and other royalty. By the ripe old age of nine, Mozart had written his first symphony and could compose complete operas by twelve.


We all know Pablo Picasso as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and the creator (along with Georges Braque) of Cubism. However, did you know that he was also a child prodigy?

Born in Malaga on the southern coast of Spain on 25 October 1881, Picasso could supposedly draw before he could talk. Apparently, his first words were “piz, piz,” his childish attempt at saying “lapiz,” the Spanish word for pencil. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child.

Pablo Picasso produced one of his most well-known pieces of artwork, The Picador when he was only eight years old. By age 13, his artistic skills had surpassed those of his father, an art teacher. In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, he applied to Barcelona’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Although the school only accepted much older students, Picasso’s entrance exam was so impressive that an exception was made for him and he was admitted to the school. By the age of 15, he was already exhibiting his art.

Start exploring a wide range of activities with your child today!


Born on 12 January 1990 in the Ukraine, Sergey Karjakin learnt to play chess when he was five years old. He eventually became an international master at the age of 11. In 2001, he won the World Chess Under 12 Championship, and in August 2002, he became the youngest grandmaster in the history of chess at the age of 12 years and exactly seven months. It is a record that still stands.

In 2004, Karjakin was the only human to win against a computer in the Man vs Machine World Team Championship in Bilbao, Spain, where he was the youngest and lowest-rated player. He won against the computer programme Deep Junior.

Most recently in 2012, Karjakin won the World Rapid Chess Championship. In this event, each side is given less time to make their moves than under the normal tournament time limits of 60 to 180 minutes per player.


Kim Ung-Yong, born on 7 March 1963 in South Korea, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the person with the highest IQ on Earth with a score of 210. To give you a better idea of his brilliance, a person of average intelligence would probably have an IQ of between 90 and 110.

By the age of four, Kim was already a polyglot who was able to read in Japanese, Korean, German and English. At his fifth birthday, he solved complicated differential and integral calculus problems. Later, on Japanese television, he demonstrated his proficiency in Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, German, English, Japanese and Korean.

Kim was a guest student of Physics at Hanyang University in Korea from the age of three until he was six years old. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics from Colorado State University in the US before he was 15. Currently, he serves as adjunct faculty at Chungbuk National University.

Thoughts to keep you thinking

A closing note.

As you may have noted, child prodigies can be fiercely talented in a wide range of professions. Expose your child to as many hobbies and interests as you can, especially when they are at a young age. You may have yet to discover a hidden, unearthed talent in your child. With the upcoming school holidays, make an effort to schedule a few days to spend time with them and take them out to explore the wide range of family activities that you can know more about online. Escape rooms and Family runs come to mind if you need a bit of an idea on what activities are fun and trendy, as you search for more options, you may even find a new past time that the entire family can enjoy!


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