After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates." />
After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates."/>
After graduating high school, Matthews was homeless. His parents were out of the picture.

Luckily the piano studio at Florida Southern College in Lakeland was open 24 hours. That's how his teacher learned of his situation and stepped in to help. "He found me sleeping in his studio and pretty much got me out of that situation, found me a different school to go to where I had a dorm and a roof over my head," said Matthews.

Matthews continued perfecting his craft at UWF. Eventually he decided to take his talents to the big stage, Carnegie Hall in New York City.

He entered the American Protg International piano & strings competition and Matthews was selected as an Honorable Mention winner.

"It's a dream come true," he said. "I never would have thought in a million years I see myself going on that stage and it just means the world to me."

Musicians from all over the world will study his every note, chord and key stroke. A solid performance could springboard his music career to the next level.

James has overcome challenges before and Carnegie Hall will be no different. "I really don't know what's going to happen with it," he said. "But I'm just going to go and try my best and stay focused."

Matthews will perform Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

-----

Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for more updates." />
 

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A New Cradle of Creativity - 11/22/13

For any parent who has enjoyed all that the Austin Children's Museum has offered in the past, get ready to be blown away by the 2.0 version.  The Thinkery, or new Austin Children's Museum, is leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor.  Immediately upon arrival, you are struck by the clean modern lines, larger space, and 30 foot tall rope-net climbing structure that looks like something out of a Mad Max movie. 

Inside, a new adventure waits at every turn.  A video screen located near the entry can capture the image of your child, and if you choose, immediately add it to digital wall mosaics displaying the pictures of all the children playing around the museum.  Science and art spring to life in each of the stations spread out across 2 floors.  Kids race from exhibit to exhibit, to take part in a hands-on learning experience.   Sometimes its the parents who are holding them back because they want their turn!  You can build an airplane and launch it by dropping a bowling ball from a dozen feet in the air.  You can then fine tune your design and see if you can beat your record. 

Everywhere you look you can paint, pour, cut, color, create,climb or jump.  There is even one station where kids can create their own stop motion film.  Using various blocks and figurines, you take a picture, move them slightly, take another picture, and so on, until you have completely created your own unique scene. The computer then strings all the pictures together to create a movie, which can then be uploaded to YouTube to share with family and friends!

The water station is a huge hit ... almost as huge a hit as the 3 high powered hand dryers installed next to it to dry off your kids when they are done.  Kids are able to use water to make different musical sounds.  Cover up a water jet and it makes a certain note.  Everyone is guaranteed to leave the water area soaked and with a smile.  There is not one inch of the museum that disappoints.  It's the kind of place where new discoveries are made each time you visit. 

As a parent, I plan on spending a lot of time here, not just because my kids will be begging me to go, but because I want to see more.  I want to see them light up when they begin to grasp concepts they once couldn't explain. The Thinkery brings out the kid in all of us, and makes learning fun.  I just hope I have my chance to make it to the top of the giant rope structure!

Thinkery opens December 7th. 

For more information, visit: http://thinkeryaustin.org/

 
 
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