Leaders On and Off The Stage

Welcome to excellence in leadership from the world of performing arts. Designed originally for orchestral principals and section players, it explores and expands creativity and range in leadership styles. This unique programme develops greater flexibility and creativity, giving confidence and awareness to all those that lead, whether in a musical performance or meeting, executive meeting or ensemble, band or boardroom.

Programme Outline

This is a programme developed in direct response to research undertaken in 2019 with principal and section players by Guildhall Associates, Jane Booth and Trudy Wright. Experiential and highly-interactive it is backed by neuroscience and positive psychology, and uses tried and tested techniques that support musical leaders in their non-musical leadership role.

In programme:

  • The role of advice
  • Levels of listening
  • Noticing, summarizing, reflecting back
  • Developing the key skills of listening and questioning
  • Resilience
  • Empathy and Rapport – Confidentiality
  • Working with Strengths
  • How to give and receive feedback
  • Accountability in coaching
  • Positive Psychology
  • More about questions
  • Understanding change
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The outcomes you can expect:

  • Greater awareness of what makes an excellent Section Principal as well as a greater awareness of their own strengths and areas for development
  • Greater understanding of a range of leadership styles and the impact of your own leadership style on your colleagues.
  • Knowledge of how to lead conversations with colleagues that deliver the required actions
  • A greater understanding of a framework which can support you to have difficult conversations with greater confidence
  • Practised a “protocol” for giving and receiving skilled feedback
  • Greater awareness of negative emotions in the workplace and how to manage them
  • An internal ”peer buddy” to help support you through and beyond this process
  • Research on the neuroscience and positive psychology which reinforces these tried and tested skills and tools.
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What our clients say

My expectations going into this course were turned on their head – in a good way. I have made some really interesting discoveries about the way that I interact with people, the way that I would like to interact with people and how this can have a really positive impact, not just in the workplace, but all aspects of my life.

This will change how I approach leading in the future

Jane and Trudy have created a really great resource in their Coaching and Mentoring course for Orchestral Musicians. They offered so many tools and skills to practise in managing leadership on and off stage. It was also a really special environment to meet other musicians and share and learn from experiences. It left me feeling energised about the future and ready to use more initiative in my own life in a positive way.

This course has given me new perspective on how to communicate with others and create a positive working environment, especially in a leadership position. I have learned how to recognize my strengths, improve my listening skills, and I feel much more confident facing difficult conversations. The atmosphere of the class was inviting, open and safe and it surpassed all of my expectations!



  • Online, as 6 x half-day sessions
  • In person as 3 x day sessions.
  • The programme can be delivered as an intense training or across a six-week period.


Get in touch

Connect with one of our experienced Associates for a free discovery call.

Email us at ignite@gsmd.ac.uk to ignite your performance – what will you spark?



Discover more

  • Conducting Courageous Conversations

    Experience how to host and manage open, honest and action-focused conversations that bring about the change that you want and need to see.
  • Resilient Teams

    Know how to create the environment in which an individual or team can thrive even when the odds are stacked against them.
  • Bespoke Programmes

    Let us bring all our experience to support you in delivering exceptional performance.