Rockford Child Prodigy Emily Bear Stays Grounded

Piano prodigy, child star, that's how most people describe Emily Bear. However, those are words you'll never hear in the Bear household. Why? Because the Rockford family is trying to keep their daughter grounded and given the crazy stories we hear about famous kids or teens these days, we thought we'd take a closer look at a family who seems to be handling fame in a good way.

"I'm just a normal kid that plays piano," says Emily Bear.

Like most 6-year-old kids Emily Bear is hard to keep up with, and she loves doing just about any activity outside.

"I like to swim, i like to play tennis.. all sports," Bear said.

But unlike most 6-year-old kids, bear has already composed dozens of songs appeared on the Ellen Degenerous Show. She's had a whole week in Rockford designated as Emily Bear Week, and let's not forget her recent performance at the White House for president Bush!

"I was like this is not true.. like I'm having a dream.. but I'm really not.," said Bear. "It's been a blessing and a responsibility."

A responsibility because mom Andrea says fame is not the priority for this family, happiness, values, hard work ethic. Those are number one.

"She's a kid, first and foremost, and her music seems to flow out of her, and we want to keep that fun and normal. She'll be an adult a lot longer than she'll be a kid," says Andrea Bear.

Local child psychologist Dr. Terrance Lichtenwald says keeping kids, Kids, is key. Especially ones with such extraordinary talent. Like Emily, who spends at least two hours a day at the piano practicing.

"With the amount of time they spend practicing, it will be very important how those other minutes are spent and who they're spent with," says Dr. Lichtenwald.

And that's exactly why Andrea Bear has actually turned down offers for Emily to relocate to New York or LA.

"We're going to pick and choose and maintain our family and our quality time and our values first and whatever we can fit in and still have our lifestyle and keep her happy.. then we'll do it," said Andrea Bear.

Performing certainly makes Emily happy. Just ask to see her collection of mini-pianos and she lights up. There's one to remind her of every big event in her past, and mom's already making room for her big events. In the future.

Tomorrow. Emily will be featured on the celebration for Ellen Degenerous' 800th show. You can watch it right here on WIFR. Also mark your calendars. Emily will be meeting kids and signing her Cd's at Wonderland Books, 1625 North Alpine Road, in Rockford on Saturday May 10th from 11:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.. And you can get her Cd's at emilybear.com.


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