Media & Testimonials
PODCASTS & INTERVIEWS
We’ve talked a lot about zig-zag paths in music careers. One of the common “zags” is walking away from music altogether. Whether a teacher discouraged you, you weren’t making ends meet, or you failed at your big moment. But one thing we’ve learned is that it’s never too late to return, if that’s what your heart is calling you to do.
Associate Lecturer in Music (Entrepreneurship) Susan de Weger is a French horn player. In fact, she’s a self-confessed “failed musician”, who walked away from music and went on to establish a multi-million dollar IT consulting practice in Europe. But music didn’t walk away from her.
"The world is completely different than it was in Beethoven’s time. So why is a performance focussed music education still the norm? Learning music can teach us skills beyond the stage. Susan de Weger is tells us the how, why and what of preparing students for their future, not the distant past."
The Portfolio Composer Podcast with Garrett Hope.
"Musician, entrepreneur, and music educator Susan de Weger discusses the role of education and mindset in having a healthy definition of success."
The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast with Andrew Hitz.
"The incredible Susan de Weger is my latest guest on The Entrepreneurial Musician (and my first from Australia!) Susan has a crazy story that goes from "failed" attempt at a music career to starting and selling a multi-million dollar IT consulting business and then going back to get her graduate performance degree at the age of 40. This was one of the more inspirational episodes."
Fixing A Broken Music Identity on Musical U
Susan de Weger changes things. First of all herself. Susan trained in Australia as a classical Horn player, then left behind her 'broken musical identity' to become a successful entrepreneur and consultant in the UK. Surprisingly, her musical skills came with her along the way. A return to Australia, a return to music - but this time with all her entrepreneurial drive and a passion for transforming the music education system through her own lessons learned.
21st-Century Music Careers on Musical U
As Susan de Weger healed her own broken musical identity, she rexamined the whole music education and careers system. In the process, she discovered that following her own path meant blazing a trail for others to create a new paradigm for 21st century music careers. We spoke to her about the evolution of music and her vision of what is to come.
Who Are You? on Musical U
Who we are determines where we are going. Sounds simple, right? But often who we think we are is layered with who our parents, teachers, culture thinks we are—or who we should be. Then we are surprised when we go through intense training as musicians only to find out that we’re not nearly as happy with the results as we thought we would be. Susan de Weger speaks about the importance of identity in career choices and artist’s statements.
Igniting Your Future in Music on Musical U
Somewhere around five percent. That’s how many music conservatory grads wind up with the coveted orchestra job. What about the rest? We explore how Susan de Weger helps professionals and students create careers out of their own unique identities and her emerging IgniteLab program at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Setting the stage: A spotlight on Melbourne's classical music identity with David Kennedy, Lindsey Martin and Luca Urso.
From an outsiders view, it might look like the orchestra is sort of the golden ticket for employment for musicians, but it’s actually not for everybody, if you’re somebody that wants to perform new music in small ensembles, and a lot of musicians really want to do that, then an orchestral job is not the right job for you. It’s the right job for someone, but it’s not for you.
Susan de Weger’s research into 21st century music careers is eye-opening. The inherent skills that are taken for granted by musicians are actually sought-after qualities in other sectors and Susan was able to highlight the valuable contribution that music graduates can make. She presented a range of innovative models for undertaking tertiary music study that prepare graduates for career success. Her thorough knowledge of career pathways and excellent presentation gave parents some peace of mind as to their children’s futures. A worthwhile eye-opener for anyone considering music studies.
- Michelle Forbes, Manager of Artistic Planning and Education, Melbourne Youth Music
I attended the talk by Susan de Weger this morning. I'm really really impressed! Thank you so much for include it as part of SMC program. I've been trying to talk with my daughter about that topic. She has her doubt...however, the talk this morning answered so many questions that we have. I like the way Susan acknowledged the fact of being a full time music performer and the benefit of music training. I also admired the way she presented options in pursuing music as a career and examples of pursuing other careers while keeping the love of music alive. Thank you so much again!
- Ravi Gomez, Parent, State Music Camp
Susan de Wegers' presentation on 21st century music careers is as relevant to students who chose to undertake a career in music as those who don’t. It analyses the skills that musicians develop and how these are valuable commodities in whatever profession is undertaken. Susan explains how a music career is now a portfolio occupation that can comprise a variety of revenue streams and role descriptions. My colleague, Alistair Lethlean, describes Susan as a visionary. Her take on the 21st century musician is just as pertinent to classical players as it is to rock players or musicians of any genre. Susan’s presentation is informative, engaging and thought provoking.
- Bryn Hills, SW Region Victoria, Instrumental Music Coordinator and Instrumental Music Coordinator, Ballarat High School.
The 21st century musical careers presentation was invaluable for our students. It gave them insight into the demands of and options for tertiary music study and beyond and how they could be life-long musicians. It opened our students' eyes to the fact that developing skills beyond just performing is vital to ensure healthy, successful careers. The idea of building a 'portfolio career' was new for many students - and for some, quite a reality check! They all walked away from the presentation with new ideas about their futures as musicians. It has sparked ongoing discussions between both students and staff.
- Ingrid Martin, Conductor and Music Educator
The performance talk was very interesting and worthwhile.
- Johnson, Year 10, Blackburn High School
The careers presentation was very informative and engaging. It provided a lot of information.
- Alexandra, Year 10, Blackburn High School
Susan’s dynamic, practical courses update and enhance music education for today’s world. Her positive approach allows us to feel proud of our abilities and training and to define the market our unique skills, aiming to achieve artistic and personal goals.
- Celia Craig, Principal Oboe, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
The career planning and promotion skills that Susan is teaching are crucial to developing a practice as a professional musician, particularly now that more musicians are moving towards portfolio careers. Susan’s credentials to educate in these areas have been recognised by MCM and ANAM among others.
- Benjamin Anderson, Principal Bass Trombone, Orchestra Victoria
Susan provided me with the insight and confidence to recognise that the skill set I have is valuable and transferable. This has allowed me to realise my potential and transition into my chosen field.
- Leesa Dean, Former Principal Bassoon, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, current Head of Woodwind, Haileybury
I attended Susan’s excellent workshop on November 27th, 2015 because I am very interested in learning about new and innovative strategies around career development for musicians. The workshop exceed my expectations. We were presented with an absolute wealth of information and strategies. The information was presented in a clear, interactive and personalised format which served to make the value of the content immediately apparent. In the short time since this workshop I have already had significant success using the workshop content. Some important career goals which had appeared to have stalled have now moved considerably closer. It’s now an exciting time of change and growth and I attribute this to the application of some of the suggestions made in this workshop. One thing I particularly enjoyed about the workshop was the interactive and personal approach to the presentation of the material. Susan’s warmth and positivity made all the participants feel open to sharing our goals and dreams. Quite a skill to achieve in a room of strangers in a short amount of time! I would recommend the workshop to any musician at any age and level of experience.
- Mark Shiell, Conductor and Music Educator
I attended Susan's workshops and found the topics covered - matters of finance, promotion, management and career planning - critically important to a freelance musician. I found her ability to take major, long-term artistic goals and break them down into achievable steps particularly powerful. Furthermore, her combination of positivity, practicality and artistic sensitivity makes her an inspiring speaker, and I would recommend any musicians seriously consider attending her workshops.
- Nick Slaney, Pianist and Founder St George's Travancore Music Series
I recently attended one of Susan de Weger’s seminars for musicians. I found it easy to understand, comprehensive and very useful. It inspired me to get on with fixing up my website and adding new compositions and moving on to new works. I would recommend it to any musicians who are wanting to create a presence in the musical world and to advance their career.
- David Cundy, Composer and Organist
Thank you very much for the time you shared with us on Friday night; your advice was very useful and inspiring. This sort of knowledge is expected in young professionals, however not enough attention is dedicated to teach these skills in the usual educational paths. Thank you for your efforts in doing so.
- Beatriz Pomes Jiminez, Flautist and PhD Candidate
Even if you think you know everything about making it in the music industry, Susan has so many great points that you will always take something away.
- Jess Berton, Saxophonist and Music Educator
In the engaging and insightful workshops, Susan offered her expertise in career planning and promotion skills to assist and equip musicians with knowledge that is essential for self management and marketing.
- Isaac Shieh, Freelance Horn Player