The Off the Ropes Podcast

The Off the Ropes podcast is a weekly show bringing you some of the World's most inspiring individuals, but not just those who have achieved enormous success, specifically those who have endured hardship and adversity and overcame their challenges. Plus, interviews with experts in the fields of neuroscience, nutrition, health, fitness and personal development, extracting their wisdom on how to optimise your performance, fulfil your potential and learn how to get your life 'off the ropes'.
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The Off the Ropes Podcast


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Jul 31, 2016

‘If I can inspire just one person to pick up an instrument, I’m happy.’ One-handed pianist, Nicholas McCarthy.

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right-hand; a minor set-back for such a tenacious and committed individual, who, at 14, turned his attention to playing the piano. Unfortunately, some people didn’t think this was a worthwhile pursuit. Refused entry to a local music school and told he was ‘wasting his time’, Nicholas used others’ doubt and rejection to propel his journey to stardom. Accepted into the distinguished and world-renowned Royal College of Music, Nicholas became the first left-handed student to graduate in the college’s 130-year history. Recently signed to Warner Music, Nicholas has toured the world with his left-handed repertoire; performed alongside Coldplay for the 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony, and is living-proof that the word ‘no’ should never be an obstacle to achieving our goals.

Nicholas McCarthy appears by kind permission of Warner Classics.

What you’ll learn:

  • What inspired Nicholas McCarthy to start playing the piano at 14-years old.
  • How Nicholas dealt with rejection by the teacher who told him he’d ‘never be a pianist.’
  • How he convinced his parents to pay for piano lessons.
  • How he combats the negativity of doubters.
  • How being told not to audition for college motivated Nicholas further.
  • How running enhances Nicholas’ musical performance and stamina.
  • How and why we should inspire children with classical music.
  • What frustrates Nicholas about the public’s perception of ‘classical music.’
  • How it feels to play alongside Coldplay.