Extraordinary Individuals

In the wonderful book, The Talent Code Daniel Coyle writes:

“Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.” 

We have more potential than we might ever presume to guess. 

These are powerful words and very applicable to the issue of career outcomes for musicians.  We are bombarded with such a narrow representation of success that we can easily lose sight of our originality and creativity. 

The discipline of music and the pursuit of artistic excellence provide a wonderful foundation for innovation and success beyond the notes.

Here are 3 extraordinary individuals, all former classical musicians, now achieving tremendous success and satisfaction in new careers.  We asked for their reflection on how their musical training has played a significant formative influence in their current lives.

Geoff Collinson

There is no greater joy than solving problems
"The countless hours spent by myself in a room with my instrument taught me how to learn through persistence and most importantly to trust myself through being honest at all times. If I am not honest with myself and have no clear aural vision I am on a journey of just hoping and trying and not doing, analysing and learning
"These skills helped enormously to make career change and enabled me to follow the same principals to learn a whole new skill set and language. I was then able to translate the passion I have for music into a creative pursuit in the business world and continue the life- long enjoyment of learning. For me there is no greater joy than solving problems."

Geoff Collinson, Digital Solutions Entrepreneur and former Principal Horn of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, former Head of Brass at the University of Melbourne and founder and co-director of the Melbourne International Brass Festival.

Jeff Miller

Learning at the highest level makes it easier to learn something else at that level
 “I have been very fortunate that what I do now provides many of the same creative satisfactions that music offered.
But what I learned as a musician has played an enormous role in my development as both a furniture maker, as a teacher, and as an author.
Most obvious is that learning something at the highest level makes it easier to learn something else at that level.
But also, a musician's attention to accuracy, detail and line in the service of a greater expressive idea applies so well to what I do. “

Jeff Miller, Award winning furniture designer, craftsman, teacher, author and former Trumpet player with Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Jonathan Price

 The process is as valuable as the end result
 “As a musician the day to day process of practice and preparing for a concert was as fulfilling as the performance itself- expanding physical and mental limits, expressing myself through sound, and communing with great musical minds through the medium of their work.
If I stopped playing tomorrow it would always have been worthwhile.
Equally as a landscape designer-thinking spatially, designing with the wonderful variety of plants and working with others to enhance lives. I hope and plan for bigger and better things tomorrow, but as in all of life, today should always be valuable in and of itself. “

Jonathan Price, Award winning landscape designer and former Principal Cello with Manchester Camerata.