Does Nick Mohammed really play violin in Ted Lasso?

19 May 2023, 12:43 | Updated: 19 May 2023, 16:05

Watch the trailer for Ted Lasso Season 3

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Nick Mohammed plays the violin with unexpected aplomb in the tenth episode of Ted Lesso Season 3. But is the actor really playing – and what’s that haunting tune that rises from his instrument?

Warning: contains spoilers for Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 10

Close to the end of Season 3 of Ted Lasso, Nick Mohammed’s character Nathan, or ‘Nate’ Shelley plays a haunting melody on the violin – and seemingly with such skill, that it’s left many questioning whether the music is dubbed, or if Nick himself can play in real life.

In Episode 10, Season 3 of the Apple TV+ series, Nate has quit as manager of West Ham. In need of some soul-searching time, he goes back to his childhood home, and towards the end of the episode is seen searching for mementos.

He flicks through some old family photo albums, before moving up to the attic, where he finds his old violin.

After checking the tuning, he starts playing a mournful tune. At the same time, Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) gives an emotional speech, as Nate provides a string soundtrack.

But is Nick Mohammed really playing the violin in this episode?

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Nick Mohammed plays violin in Ted Lasso Season 3
Nick Mohammed plays violin in Ted Lasso Season 3. Picture: Apple TV+

Can Nick Mohammed really play the violin?

That really is Nick Mohammed playing the violin in Ted Lasso Season 3, Episode 10. In fact, as he revealed in a tweet on 15 May (see below), the instrument is the actor’s old violin from home.

Having learned to play as a child, Nick played in his university orchestra, at St Aidan’s College at Durham University.

As an actor, he first showed his string skills in Mr Swallow: Houdini, his 2016 hit musical comedy show.

Rather beautifully, in the episode of Ted Lasso, the person playing the piano accompaniment to Nick’s solo, is his wife of 14 years, Becka.

Nick wrote on Twitter: “OK so this ep of #TedLasso is special for lots of reasons… but mostly because it’s my *incredible* wife playing the piano to Arvo Pärt’s ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ with me on my old violin from home.

“The piece was Jason’s idea: literally translates as ‘mirror in mirror’.”

What piece of music does Nick Mohammed play in Ted Lasso?

He plays ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’, a breathtakingly beautiful piece by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt which consists of a simple arpeggio on the piano combined with a slow melody on the violin line.

Literally meaning ‘Mirror in the mirror’, referring to a state of infinity, ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ inhabits a remarkably still environment, in a world that can be comparably noisy and frantic.

The use of the piece is itself, a beautiful mirror to Nate’s life and state of mind in this particular episode of Ted Lasso, in which Nate goes back to his roots, reconciles with his parents and finds his smile again.

Read more: 10 best pieces of minimalist classical music for ultimate relaxation

Spiegel im Spiegel (Arvo Pärt) for Violin and Piano - Nadia Vasileva and Luke Faulkner

Nick’s playing made for a hugely popular moment in the show.

One viewer wrote online: “When people play violin on shows, those of us who actually play the violin have to look away because it’s just so hard to watch.

“I watched you! I can’t tell if you were actually playing anything, but your form was perfect! I thought either he actually plays or has a great coach.”

Another on Twitter said: “I was crying like a baby. One of the most beautiful sequences of the entire show, between Nate just completely breaking down and reverting back to his childhood love of playing music, Rebecca’s monologue, Sam and Jamie’s character development, just EVERYTHING!”

Listen to Classic FM’s Revision playlist for free on Global Player, for the best music for calm, focus and concentration.