NEWPORT BEACH — Natalie Cernius took a liking to the piano even before she was big enough to reach the keys.
As a toddler, she enjoyed crawling under the instrument during her older siblings' lessons. The notes from those sessions resonated in the toddler's ears and throughout their Dover Shores home.
It was Natalie's early beginnings playfully scrambling between the piano legs and hearing those notes that likely helped give the 14-year-old the perfect pitch she has today. That's the rare ability to sing, identify or re-create any note without a reference beforehand.
And after years of lessons since about age 4, Natalie is now the pianist for the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra, an educational ensemble under the auspices of the Costa Mesa-based Pacific Symphony.
Though not a musician herself, mother Poita Cernius wanted to expose all of her four children — Natalie, Andrew, Jason and Ariana — to music at a young age. Such motherly wisdom paid off for all of them, and especially for Natalie, the Cernius family's youngest.