Multitalented 11-year-old overcomes selective mutism

Rachel Ling Gordon has played piano at Carnegie Hall three times. She got to showcase her magic talents on an episode of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us!"

Mark Sudol

Feb 1, 2024, 10:36 PM

Updated 165 days ago

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A multitalented 11-year-old girl is hitting the big time, but her success was nearly silenced forever.
"I've been playing piano for nine years since I was 2," said Rachel Ling Gordon.
Gordon, who is from Purchase, New York, takes piano lessons in Greenwich, Connecticut.
She has shined on stage at Carnegie Hall three times already.
But before she started playing, she had trouble making an important connection in her life.
"For the first six years of my life I couldn't speak," said Gordon.
Gordon struggled with selective mutism.
"It's an anxiety that prevents you from speaking outside of your home," said Gordon.
She says the piano really struck a chord with her.
"Performing, which I love to do, helped me distract myself from my anxiety and it made me feel confident," said Gordon.
Her confidence also helped shape her love for magic.
She now gets to showcase her talents on an episode of "Penn & Teller: Fool Us!"
"It was like my dream come true, it was amazing," said Gordon.
Gordon now works with other kids who have struggled with selective mutism, and has a message for them.
"Just follow your dreams and don't give up and if you have a goal, you're definitely going to achieve it if you put in all the hard work and you don't give up," said Gordon.
She tells kids there are times when she still has trouble in public getting the words out. But at least she can now be heard.
"I want them to believe in magic because miracles do happen," said Gordon.


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