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Date published: 12/13/2003
Even so, Ouspenskaya has taught Fedor some piano, and he's learning some music composition during lessons at the Levine School of Music in Washington. He travels there after each school day at either the Russian Embassy School or Hunter Woods Elementary School--his parents switch him each year so he can remain bilingual.
"You have to teach a little kid how to compose. Otherwise they can't be on their own with music," Ouspenskaya said.
"The first time he played, the guys in the back playing percussion were watching and their eyes got real big," said the orchestra's music director for the past 20 years, Tina Anderson.
She also said the kids of the youth orchestra have "fallen in love" with him.
"He takes a bow after each rehearsal and the other kids cheer him," she said. "I think they recognize the gift he has and are just happy to have him. I don't know; he's just a little musician in a child's body."
Maia Zaitzera, Fedor's grandmother, who also plays the violin, called music the main part of life and the occupation for the entire family.
Although she speaks barely any English, Zaitzera loves to teach her grandson the instrument they share.
"This is the meaning of the later years of her life," her daughter Ouspenskaya translates for her.