Mentoring for musicians

Support and professional advice for musicians and composers wishing to develop their work…

Are you a musician or composer grappling with motivation, direction, practice, planning or simply seeking a non-judgemental “critical friend”?

A musical mentor can assist you in:

  • better understanding your musical and creative processes,
  • enhancing and optimising your personal practice,
  • becoming more efficient and achieving more satisfaction,
  • developing belief in your musical and expressive identity,
  • Problem solving:
    • solve “artists’ block”,
    • improve concentration,
    • address performance issues* (see note below).

I have been teaching and supporting musicians for more than 30 years, mainly in Higher Education as well as summer schools, adult education and a small private practice of 1:1 students. I have developed approaches to practice of improvisation that are personalised and adaptive. Critical to this approach is an optimal alignment of strategies that relate directly to your own, personal musical and expressive needs.

Although musicians receive support through school and further education, post-college and mid and late career present different challenges, often with motivation, sense of direction, perhaps restarting a career after the arrival of children, resilience, changes of financial circumstance, changing tastes and aspirations.

What is mentoring? Mentoring is a person-centred partnership that fosters self-reflection. It is intended to develop a “mentee” in a supportive and individualised way. It is collaborative and can assist in the development personal aims and desired outcomes.

Although it is always collaborative, mentoring can take several forms, sometimes vertical (more like “teaching”), sometimes diagonal (coaching) and at other times horizontal (peer mentoring). Your needs and the style of mentoring are generally defined by your needs, personality and experience.

My intention is that mentoring supports and develops a person on their own terms and according to their interests. The presence of a mentor can also offer a degree of objectivity – there are no shortcuts but this will save you time!

Is this the same as counselling? No and I am not a qualified counsellor. However, the approach is tailored to the individual. I have on occasion recommended counselling, exercise, nutrition and always refer to appropriately qualified practitioners. See safeguarding below.

What kind of people benefit form mentoring: You might be an established musician with 10-20 years experience, a parent returning to performing after several years of child-care, an artist experiencing lethargy or confusion about how to take your music further, a musician experiencing books in motivation or practice.

Is this only for jazz musicians? Not at all. Any musician can benefit form mentoring.

If you are interested in mentoring please email me.

Safeguarding * In rare cases, mentoring might raise awareness of deeper, more problematic issues. If this is the case, be assured that you would be referred to an appropriately qualified practitioner.


One thought on “Mentoring for musicians

  1. Dear Simon,
    I don’t know if u remember me. But my name is Tom Bentall, I was on the guildhall course under you in 2000. I was wondering if u had any time to deliver a mentoring session or two (or three!) regarding how to integrate into the music industry especially as I unfortunately had (now recovered/ing) from a probably pre-existing mental health problem. I thankfully am well and working for the nhs and a company called Core Arts, but need some pointers on how to develop as a professional musician. Could u have time for me? Thank you for your time.

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