Acquired Savants

Derek Amato – A Musical Genius

Last Updated on July 8, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Derek Amato
Derek Amato


After a serious head injury, Derek Amato became a musical prodigy.


Derek Amato was Born in Denver on 19 November 1966.

Early Life

Derek Amato had no musical skills as a child, but has always enjoyed listening to music. Derek struggled for many years before his accident to find a career that suited him.

About Derek Amato

At the age of 39 Derek dived into a pool and hit the bottom with his head. He suffered a severe concussion and lost 35% of his hearing. Five days after the accident Derek visited his friend, a musician and had had an urge to play the piano. With no formal training or previous ability to play, Derek could play like a master.
Since the accident, Derek Amato see’s grey and black “blobs” in front of his eye’s and he believes this is his brain writing music. he still sees the blobs and hears music all the time in his head.
Derek has been diagnosed with Acquired Savant Syndrome – a condition that arises after a severe accident where there is a radical change in skills caused by brain damage. Derek is the only known person to have ever developed musical skills from Acquired Savant Syndrome. Derek currently lives in Colorado with his three children.
Derek had a passion for fly-fishing. Derek’s hearing will continue to deteriorate until he is completely deaf and he suffers from blackouts and severe migraines as a result of the accident.

Genetic Or Learned

Neither Derek Amato’s abilities are a result of an accident and were not genetic or learned. Although there is a theory that he has remembered things learned in past lives as a result of the brain damage suffered.

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Derek Amato Youtube Videos

Books Featured In

  • Bouncing Forward: Transforming Bad Breaks Into Breakthroughs – Michaela Haas (2015)
  • Aha!: The Moments of Insight that Shape Our World – William Braxton Irvine (2015)
  • Islands of Genius – Darold Treffert and Daniel Tammet (2011)
  • The Hidden Brain – Shankar Vedantam (2010)
  • The Superhuman mind: Free the genius in your brain – Berit Brossard , Kristian Marlow (2015)

Books Published

  • My Beautiful Disaster – 2013