There was something truly magical on that stage that no one could possibly miss or deny. Thank you Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza, I truly adore you both for who you are and what you stand for!
Like many, I have watched that video many times and I wanted to know the little girl with the big voice so I contacted her and asked her permission to share more about herself. The following short interview was a delight, just like the darling girl we are destined to hear more about soon!
1. From your website, JodiGirl.com, you say, “First and foremost, I am a singer, a pianist, a student of the arts.” Can you elaborate more on this for me, please?
I always have music in my head- I go around singing all day!!! My parents said I could sing before I could speak. And I take a lot of music lessons so I am constantly studying music, piano, guitar, music theory, singing, counterpoint, drums, chorus.
2. The world sees and understands autism in many different ways. How would you describe autism?
It seems to make some things really hard, like paying attention.
3. Would you wish for a ‘cure’ if one was possible?
I don’t know what it’s like not to have autism.
4. In what ways has autism helped you to realize gifts (yours and / or anothers)?
might make some things easier — like music!
5. What has it been like to go to the greatest school in the world (Mannes College of Music Prep School)?
While Mannes is the best school for music, the greatest school in the world is a reference to the Alpine Learning Group. It is a school for autism treatment. My parents say we were very, very lucky to be able to go to ALG. I learn a lot there and at Midland School (local mainstream school).
6. What was it like to sing with Katy Perry? Is there anything you’d like to share that the rest of the world might have missed?
It was Awesome performing with Katy, Adam Marcello the drummer, and Casey Hooper Guitarist. And, that was the first time I played in a band.
7. What are you the most proud of accomplishing?
I was able to play at the Beacon Theatre with Katy, I got an A on my Book report and I was a finalist for the Ascap Morton Gould Young Composers Awards two years in a row.
8. What would you like to tell other children who with autism?
The same thing I would tell all children. You can do whatever you want only if you work hard and believe.
9. What are some of your big goals / dreams and what kind of help do you need?
I would like to learn to play the viola, record my music, & go on tour. I would like to play at Carnegie Hall, graduate from elementary school, move to Los Angeles and be on a musical TV Show. I would also like to play Disney songs in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World.
Jodi, your dreams are beautiful and so are you! When you play at Carnegie Hall, I hope to be in the audience. When you play Disney songs in front of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World I hope it’s recorded so that I can children around the world can hear the magic in your voice!
Learn more about Jodi DiPiazza here: JodiGirl.com
Watch her incredible video with Katy Perry here: J+K onYouTube.com
The article I wrote about Katy and Jodi, back in October, 2012, can be read here: Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza: On Fire.
Your comments, questions and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
Rhonda Spellman is an award winning author, professional speaker, autism advocate and coach. A published author at 17, she has since worked in many areas of the writing / publishing / media field. When a form of autism took her son’s voice in 2001 and threatened to take his ability to live a normal life, she began to search for better answers. Rhonda self-published her first children’s book – an EVVY award winner, in 2003, a short two months before her first son was diagnosed with autism. Her second book, based on small emperor penguin who gives children a message, “You don’t have to BE big to DO big things” was picked up by a major publisher in 2008. Rhonda’s third book, “The Journey Home from Autism“, is based on over 7,000 logged hours of research was released on January 1, 2010. It has won a 1st place INDIE Excellence award and an EVVY award. In January, 2013, she published her 10-year-old son’s first book, “Asperger’s Rhymes with Bass Burgers“. Her programs for children and adults, her website and her column “Beyond the Spectrum” are designed to educate and enrich life ~ in all of our many shapes, colors and forms. Her online sites include: AutismWithRhonda.com, Linkedin.com/in/RhondaSpellman, Facebook.com/RhondaSpellman, http://www.youtube.com/artospress, She can be reached at Rhonda@RhondaSpellman.com