Backstage on Broadway: 12-year-old guitar prodigy, Brandon Niederauer, shows us his home, guitar collection and dressing room

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It's the strumming of a seasoned musician.

"The bug of music came from my dad, he was always playing music around the house,” Brandon Niederauer said.  “He probably played an Allman Brothers album on the way home from the hospital."

He may have old soul, but Brandon Niederauer is quite young, only 12.

“The fact that I’m doing what I love so young is just impeccable,” he smiled.

Right now, this guitarist can be seen on Broadway, in the musical School of Rock.

Web extra: Brandon remembers the Broadway audition process

“I started playing the guitar because of the School of Rock movie," he remembered. “My first teacher was teaching me like 'Mary Had a Little Lamb,' boring stuff so I stopped for like six months.”

But finally, Brandon's dad set him up with someone who taught, well, like Jack Black. And he quickly realized he had a gift. This prodigy, nicknamed 'Taz' for his non-stop energy, has already played with legendary musicians, in front of big-time crowds and on TV. He's even modeled alongside Lady Gaga.

"It’s amazing to conquer all of this and show that really nothing’s impossible but there’s also hardships to all this stuff like finding the money to buy the tickets to these things, working with my teachers at school and making sure I stay healthy,” Brandon explained.

Web extra: What else does Brandon Niederauer enjoy?

And helping Brandon get to where he is now, his family.

“The reason I have succeeded so much is because my dad is somewhat more of the let him do what he wants, let him miss school,” he said. “My mom’s number one rule is if you’re not getting good grades you can’t play and my brother’s the most supportive older brother you could ever have.”

Then there is his other, more rambunctious family.

“Being around Alex [Brightman] and all these people who have the same passion as me is really uplifting because we’re just one big happy family,” Brandon smiled.

Related: Opening night: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alex Brightman and cast of 'School of Rock'

One that gets quite close backstage.

“Sharing a dressing room with all the boys is very hard," he laughed. "You have the smallest space and it’s tough but I can’t let that get in the way.”

Web extra: Brandon's dream gig is...?

Despite all this, don't try to tell this rock star kid, he's different from anyone else his age.

“I do everything that they do, it’s not like I’m a supernatural force, or alien, or anything, I’m just a 12-year-old dreaming big,” he said.

You can also check out Brandon's band, Lions on the Moon, which he's in with his brother, right here. And you can also see Brandon eight nights a week at the Winter Garden Theatre in School of Rock.


Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi

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