Face The Music and WIN!

While looking for some cartoons on my hard drive about ‘Fear’ I came across one I did for a book titled Face The Music and Win which I illustrated for Tracy Plaice. I’d forgotten about this project (It’s an age thing – so they keep telling me, but I’m not listening!)

Here’s an extract and cartoon from the first chapter…

My favourite time to play was when I had the house completely to myself as that was the only time that I felt completely at ease and didn’t make any mistakes. The piano was like my best friend; I shared with it all my emotions and in return it taught me that I could achieve things that seemed impossible at first glance. I still recall how difficult it was to play with both hands together, but with them doing completely different things.

Playing for other people, especially at piano exams was a real drama. I even found it a bit of a challenge in front of my piano teacher. At home I could play perfectly when no one could hear me, but in front of anyone else, especially an examiner, I would invariably make a mess, freeze, or lose my place in the music – all three sometimes. It didn’t get any easier, no matter how hard I tried.
There were times at home when I would practise on the piano and Dad would sit, pretending to read the newspaper. I knew he was really listening to me play. He knew that was the only thing he could do if he wanted any chance of hearing me play. It’s not that I was being selfish by not wanting to perform for people, I just couldn’t do it.
I wasn’t a shy child in other areas of my life. In fact I would quite often find myself in trouble for opening my mouth before my mind had considered the consequences, especially around my teachers and my father. I was made to sit alone at school on several occasions because I wanted to talk rather than read books.
I think the reason why I was so fearful when it came to playing the piano for others, was because it was so important to me. I would practise every day after school. I had really high expectations, both of myself and of what I thought other people would expect of me, given all the practice that I did. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I didn’t really appreciate that I was any good at it. I would always compare myself unfavourably to Mrs Hind’s other pupil, Alan.

If you’re interested in reading more please visit:


Here’s a few quotes about FEAR….

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. Dorothy Thompson

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” Sven Goran Eriksson


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