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A MUSIC teacher is launching a business to tackle a problem which he says stops many students achieving their full potential in exams.

The Student Platform was devised to give musicians the experience of performing to strangers before they go before the examiners.

Steven Gonzalez, 26, from Southbourne, has around 35 students and was aware that many of them would benefit from playing to an audience.

The Student Platform will present 24 performers at St James’ Primary School at Poole on Monday, October 23. Around 50 people are expected in the audience.

Mr Gonzalez said: “People who are learning instruments, they go to their lessons and they go home and practise.

“They practise in front of Mum and Dad and brother and sister and that just becomes the norm. It’s completely different from the pressure of giving your performance to an examiner.

“You have to control the pressure and control the nerves. So many people don’t do as well as they could, purely because they’re not used to playing under that kind of pressure.”

The lack of opportunity to perform in public was particularly acute for players of piano and drum, he said.

The students at the first performance range from six to 70, and from beginners to grade seven exam candidates.

Eileen Rawlings, a stalwart of Bournemouth Music Competitions Festival, will compere the event, and Steven will play piano at the end of the show.

A retired professional will run a performance workshop for the students.

Mr Gonzalez, who has been teaching piano for four years, said: “I have had great words from the parents and my older students saying that this is a wonderful idea so I believe this will be very successful.

“My plan is to start with my own students and then expand across the county, helping as many students as I can to gain performance experience to help them understand what it is like to be a performer.”

More details are at the Facebook page Steven Gonzalez Music.