Submitted by Tuncel Gulsoy, MCC
ICF Turkey Chapter 

Tuncel Gulsoy was asked his ICF Chapter (ICF Turkey) to coach two visually impaired musicians. Both were violin players—a 24-year-old student and a 36-year-old professional musician.

“It was wonderful to discover a way to create a strong communication bond with these musicians,” says Tuncel.

Due to COVID, everything was completed over telephone. This was an interesting challenge for Tuncel, as he had never experienced such coachees before. In addition, due to their situation, the coachees were very sensitive in their relations. After their first contact, Tuncel remembered that most musicians were quite poor in dialogues while being quite masterful in performing their music. In short, music is their main communication medium, speaking is not.

The inspiration came from Tuncel’s experience from interviewing Turkish jazz musicians for both magazines and radio. Tuncel asked the coachees to answer my questions first by playing their violins, and sometimes also by singing and playing together. This approach released their energy, helped them get away from their fears and gremlins, and got them to focus on the topics that were being discussed.

The result was fantastic—talking and playing created a wonderful safe container for the coaching sessions. Tuncel has tried the same approach with another violin player who is an international classical musician. He does not have visual problems and it worked wonders.

“Music is a gift for coaches, but probably it is the best kept secret in the coaching profession.”