DB 024: One-Handed Pianist Nicholas McCarthy On Fulfilling A Big Dream That Many Thought Was Physically Impossible

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In today’s episode, Eva and Olga welcome Nicholas McCarthy, the only one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history. He was born in 1989 without his right hand and began to play the piano at the late age of 14 after being inspired by a friend playing Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata. In 2012, he performed with the British Paraorchestra alongside Coldplay at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic games. 


  • Advice on how to prepare for a piano recital.
  • How to use small rewards to incentivize you to practice an instrument.
  • When he first learned to play the piano.
  • How he deals with the naysayers around him.
  • Where he got his positive outlook in life.
  • How he feels when he plays the piano.
  • How you should focus on your goal and visualize what you want.
  • The best advice he ever received.
  • His most embarrassing moment!
  • How his fingers never get tired of playing the piano.
  • What his big dreams are for the future.


In this episode, Nicholas shared his belief that most people spend too much time worrying and not enough time just being happy.   It is easy to feel pressure sometimes, especially when you have big goals, but you are much more likely to succeed with a positive attitude. We created this inspirational “Don’t Worry, Bee Happy” artwork which you can print out and use as a reminder. As always, our Dream Big Podcast downloads can be customized with your face and name, and it is 100% free to download. Click here to claim you free download.

If this coming week you focus your energies on being positive and happy (rather than negative and worried), please let Olga know by emailing her at [email protected].  You will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift card and 1-month free membership in Post Pal Club.  Winners are selected monthly and contacted by email (as well as announced on our show!).


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Thanks again for all of your amazing support.


The sponsor of Dream Big is PostPalClub.com — a monthly membership club that includes 4 personalized postcards, pre-stamped and ready-to-send to friends and family. For a limited time only, we are offering the 1st month of the Post Pal Club for only $1. That’s just 25 cents each for 4 postcards and it already includes the stamps as well!! To take advantage of this offer while it is still available use the code DREAMBIG at checkout.  You can learn more at PostPalClub.com!

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