When Justin Jun Yu -- age 8 -- was invited to play the cello on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," he says he was nervous. But not about playing the instrument on TV. Pfff. That's a snap. "I know the music," he says. He practices an hour a day and has performed classical pieces twice at Carnegie Hall.
What made the Jericho third-grader jittery was chatting with the talk show host.
"My chin was shaking when I was talking," he says. "This was a really important show. My dad told me that."
But the little boy with the big personality needn't have worried -- wearing a bow tie and vest, he charmed the audience at his late-September appearance, showing DeGeneres the dance he does when he scores a soccer goal and describing how bored he was during a flight to China when his iPad battery ran out.
And then he wowed them by playing "Hungarian Rhapsody" on his quarter-size cello.
Justin's dad, Julian, who is the director of the Joyous Music School in Hicksville and the Herald Music School in Flushing, says DeGeneres' staff reached out to him after seeing YouTube videos of his son and his daughter, Christine, 4, who plays the piano.
The TV appearance is another item for Justin's growing resumé, which includes winning first place in a big talent contest in China and performing at Lincoln Center.
Does all this mean Justin wants to be a professional musician when he grows up?
"I want to be a professional cellist," he says, "who also plays soccer."