Grace Novacheck is a 16 year old pianist from Westlake and she's one of four musicians featured on a special initiative by the classical music program From The Top. (Courtesy photo | Verismo Communications Classical Music PR)

Grace Novacheck is 16, yet she’s already had 33 surgeries. She was born with a rare disorder called Escobar Syndrome, she told WRR’s Amy Bishop.

“And it effects pretty much my entire body, from my hands, my jaw, my neck, my legs, just my overall function, but I try not to let it hold me back.”

But it hasn’t stopped her from playing the piano.

For her performance on From the Top, Novacheck played Edvard Grieg’s Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4.

Grace was one of four young performers on the show. She says the opportunity was a thrill.

“So we were of course ecstatic, it was so fun. I did the interview and that was really fun,” she said. “They’re both really great people and it was really a very natural conversation.”

There are a few composers she loves to play.

“I play a lot of Beethoven. My favorite person to play, I like Chopin, and I like Bach too,” she said.

Novacheck also has a TikTok account with over 106 thousand followers. On it, she shares how she navigates daily life – from driving, to playing piano, shopping with friends.

“I do hope that my page is influencing people. I try to spread the message of altruism, and kindness, and accepting other people for who they are, and educating about disabilities,” she said.

Novacheck says she hopes that her TikTok, and her piano playing, encourages others to remember that their disabilities don’t have to hold them back from doing amazing things.

“From the Top” airs on WRR 101.1 FM Saturday April 1.

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Galilee Abdullah is an arts reporter. Originally from North Texas, Galilee was previously a production assistant and production intern at WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR member station. There, she worked on “Worldview,”...