More than music

I sat in my living room this morning and realized that I am more than music. Or more than a trainer, or more than a consultant. Music alone doesn’t describe all of me. It takes a lot to describe a person. And interestingly enough, I came to this conclusion while I was thinking about things I need to infuse into my business projects. Here’s where this comes from:

Yesterday, my pal Janey calls to tell me that she’s got someone visiting whose father was a relatively famous Newfoundland fiddler. His name, she thought, was Benoit.

Emile Benoit? The most incredible fiddler to come out of the Port aux Port Peninsula, Newfoundland, writer of incredible tunes and teller of stories? (

Well, yes, that could be him.

Bring her over!!!

Roberta Benoit arrived, took one glance at my living room and started to smile. Before I knew it, she had my fiddle going, I was on the guitar, and we were jamming, smiling, jamming and smiling, Cape Breton, French and Newfoundland tunes galore. Did I say smiling? What a time!

So what does this have to do with business, you may ask? This morning, I looked around my living room and tried to see what Roberta would have seen. She would have seen regular living room stuff: a couch, some chairs, a few lights, and a coffee table. But here’s what else she saw:

  • an upright grand piano
  • two guitars
  • a mandolin
  • two fiddles
  • a tenor saxophone
  • a trombone
  • a flute
  • three tin whistles
  • a mountain dulcimer
  • every surface covered in sheet music!

Roberta saw music everywhere. So her conclusions about me would be that I was first and foremost a musician. But the truth is not so simple. I am many other things. I am a facilitator, a trainer, an environmental consultant (just read my webpages!). I am a runner, a fly fisher, a parent…the list just goes on and on.

When you are in a workshop, taking a course, sitting on a plane, or in a meeting, take a moment to reflect on Roberta’s perspective. It’s important to look beyond the obvious, and uncover truths, realities and information that help us to better understand each other. As clients, as stakeholders and as friends. Make sure you look beyond the music, and find out as much as you can.

When I’m running a workshop, I always ask my participants what they would do if they weren’t doing the job that brought them to the workshop. Ask yourself that: What would you do, what would you like to do, if you weren’t doing your current job? Let me know, I’d be interested in find out. Because I’m more than music.

…but I do love music!

Published by Susan Gesner

A skilled professional with a wealth of experience in a variety of facilitation, consultation, education and research fields. I am known for my leadership, strong interpersonal skills and my ability to bring teams together for a common goal. I strive to incorporate my own and other's passion for the environment and sustainability for the future. Oh, and I love to run, fly fish, ski and make music!

One thought on “More than music

  1. I came on your blog by chance. Just arrived from two weeks in NL where I bought a CD of Collis and Bartella. The salesperson told me about Émile’s music, and the fact that he sometimes did some vocal trick we french Quebecers call “la turlutte”. Now a quick research makes me realize that even Collis may have been influenced by the music of Roberta’s father. In turn I will surely want to compose a few reels (harmonica) in the Benoit style.
    Keep playing.
    Claude F.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: