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Calling it his favorite thing to do, Ed Sheeran surprised some kids in New York City with what he calls a “school pop-up.”

Ed posted footage on Instagram of himself performing for the kids in an auditorium, listening to them play a string arrangement of his hit “Perfect” and giving them advice about how they should never let anyone tell them they can’t do something.

“If you get your confidence knocked as a kid, and an adult tells you that you can’t do something, you kind of never really recover from that,” Ed said earnestly. “I was so bad at writing songs and singing when I was 12 and 13. So I don’t want you guys to ever, ever, ever let an adult strip you of your confidence.”

At another school, Ed performed a bit of “Perfect” and told the kids, “Sometimes when someone knocks your confidence, you kinda build this … barrier in your head that then tells you you can’t do it. But everyone in here is capable of achieving, like, the most incredible things.”

A few days ago Ed visited Dominguez High School in Compton, California, where he performed and offered the kids a similar pep talk.

Ed’s new album, Autumn Variations, comes out September 29.

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