DENVER (CBS4)– A bang to the head changed a Colorado man’s life by revealing a hidden talent. Doctors say concert performer Derek Amato is one of the few people in the world to have experienced the rare phenomena called Acquired Savant Syndrome.

He says the music is in his mind. He sees it in his head, and his fingers do the rest. Amato has a gift that came about in an unexpected way.

Twelve years ago he had an accident in the swimming pool.

“I miscalculated diving in the shallow end and hit the bottom of the shallow end on this side of my head and damaged the back end,” said Amato.

After recovering from the accident, he was at a friend’s house and walked over to the keyboard and suddenly, without ever playing the piano before, he began playing and playing.

The trauma to the head unlocked something unique inside Amato’s brain.

Acquired Savant Syndrome has been described in articles and studies “as when a tragedy turns you into a genius.” At Classic Pianos on South Broadway in Denver, Amato told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that black and white squares appear in his mind when he’s at the piano.

“I just follow what the blocks tell me to do. I do my best to take those notes and put them into playing,” said Amato.

His talented arms are tattooed with musical notes which he cannot comprehend, “Reading music seems confusing for me. I tried to learn a couple different times.”

He says despite not being able to read music, he’s aware that he has been given a precious gift and tries to give back to those who have spent hard times on the streets of Denver, as he once did.

Amato has written a book about it his experience called “My Beautiful Disaster.”