Mentoring programs

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 International mentoring programs

We have been mentoring several young musicians in the last few years in Hungary. Above is our last cohort from the year 2022/23: Dániel Láposi (percussionist), Bálint Kovács (Blockflöte performer), István Kókai (bassoonist), and Virág Anna Virág (composer). We are proud how much impact the FOCUS on You mentorprogram had on their career.

Read about the experience of the graduates from the last cohort here and here. Currently, we are working with a group until end of March.
Application for the next round (starting in May 2024) is open now!

What are the mentoring programs about? 

Part of the FOCUS on You program is the mentoring program for young performers and composers working in classical music. It provides opportunities and professional support to realize their ideas and career goals.

We created two distinct 8-week immersive mentoring programs centred around two subjects. “FOCUS on Your Next Career Step” caters to aspiring young musicians aiming to attain a lucid perception of their prospective paths within the realm of classical music. The program assists in defining precise objectives and charting a course to accomplish them. Meanwhile, “FOCUS on Your Dream Project” takes participants on an expedition from the inception of their project concepts to their ultimate materialization. Both programs are conducted in small group settings, emphasizing individualization and a strong orientation towards actionable steps.

 

Who are the programs for?

The programs are open for classical music performers and composers of any age or nationality, who are burning with desire to share their music with the world and are ready to take action to realize their dream.

What is included in the programs?

  • 8 weeks of mentoring on your unique path
  • entering exercises
  • 4 x 2 hours of group coaching (every second week on Monday)
  • 2 x 1-hour individual coaching
  • dozens of exercises, coaching tools, and materials to help you achieve your goals
  • a supportive community, networking opportunity, and first-hand accountability partners and cheerleaders
  • continuous online support (group chat)
  • connection to people and institutions in our network
  • opportunity to present your work on our platforms
  • individualized support to realize your own project or career goal  

FOCUS on Your Next Career Move

This program will help you…

  • have a clear insight about your dreams, values, strengths and tools,
  • set your long-term and short-term goals,
  • collect information about yourself and the environment that is necessary to know for your career,
  • design the steps to achieve your goals,
  • get to know the right opportunities and peoples who will help you on your way,
  • find the right methods for you to remain organised, focused, and motivated on the road.

Program runs

20 May – 14 July 2024

Group coaching dates

9:00-11:00 (PT), 12:00-14:00 (ET), 18:00-20:00 (CET)

27 May, 10 June, 24 June, 8 July

FOCUS on Your Dream Project

This program will help you…

  •  have a clear vision and mission of your project and several types of descriptions, from elevator pitches to multi-page analyses,
  • know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks of your project,
  • prepare a plan for the development and management of the project,
  • find the right partners, venue, audience, and funding for your project,
  • develop a marketing and PR strategy (if relevant),
  • take action to make your dream project a reality.

Program runs

27 May – 21 July 2024

Group coaching dates

9:00-11:00 (PT), 12:00-14:00 (ET), 18:00-20:00 (CET)

3 June, 17 June, 1 July, 15 July

Who will you work with? 

Eszter Bodnár, trainer and coach 

Eszter Bodnár is the director of the Sonus Foundation, cultural and artistic manager, trainer and coach, and the creator of the FOCUS on You program. She mainly works on contemporary music projects in Europe and North America. Her mission is to give young musicians, who are burning with the desire to show their music to the world, skills and knowledge to help them find their path confidently in the classical music business. In this, she uses her experience as a university lecturer, mentor, and project manager. She will lead the program and your individual development process. 

 Rebeka Pál, project manager

Rebeka Pál has worked as a project manager of the FOCUS on You program since 2022. She graduated as a musicologist at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, and has experience with project management, project planning, writing, and communication. She is also a lover of the Scandinavian culture. She ensures that your journey within the program is both efficient and seamless.

Not sure whether it is the right program for you?

Registration

Our mentoring programs are in progress but we will announce the next round (starting from September 2024) in August so stay tuned. Fill out the form below and receive important information first hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens in the mentoring program?

The mentoring program is a combination of individual and group work, group coaching, individual coaching, and a lot of exercises. It is individualized to your own career/project so very effective and action-oriented.

How long is the mentoring program?

Our mentoring programs are eight week long. 

Who can register for the mentoring program?

Any musician (performer or composer) in the field of classical music can register. There is no age or nationality limitation. 

What is needed for the registration?

In the registration form, we will have a few questions about you to see whether this program is the right fit for you. Otherwise, bring your openness and curiosity.

Can I register without a project idea/career question?

If you are not sure, what is the next career move or project idea you would like to work on, please schedule a call with us so we can find out whether the program fits you.

Can I get a discount on the participation fee?

Thanks to our sponsors, we can offer a limited amount of grants for the program. If you would like to apply for them, along with your registration, send us an email to workshop@sonus.foundation and describe your situation briefly.

Where can I register for the mentoring program?

On this page, in the Registration part.

How do I know that my registration is successful?

After your registration, you will receive an email from us with all the necessary details to participate in the program.

Is the registration transferable?

The registration is not transferable.

I have questions. Where can I contact you?

You are welcome to our introductory session or an individual call (see above) and feel free to contact us at workshop@sonus.foundation.

What do participants say about our program?

One of the most important things that I have learned so far in the mentoring program is that it takes skills and dedication to manage your career. I believe modern musicians must spend time learning how to be their own managers in addition to their musical training. It is also extremely important to be proactive in everything you do.

The program has been really transformative for me. I highly recommend it to other musicians who want to get ahead and distinguish themselves in the music industry.

Hoang Nguyen,
Piano player

I think that the mentoring program will be an important milestone in my life. Not only because I found answers to all my questions about managing and improving our orchestra or because all that knowledge was shared in an extremely friendly environment, but because I got help to stay on the right track.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the program to fellow musicians.

Péter Kemény,
Conductor

The mentoring program was a very intense, challenging, and helpful experience or rather a journey that started with a project draft and ended with a set of tools that help me realise my dream. For me, the biggest challenge was to find enough time during my very irregular schedule for all the weekly exercises and tasks that we received from our mentor, Eszter Bodnár. Although it was hard, the work always paid off.

I would definitely recommend the FOY programs – in fact, I have already recommended a program to a friend of mine! 

Eszter Kruchió,
Violin player

The mentoring program has helped me improve my self-management skills: how to present my ideas, how to present myself as a musician, how to build my portfolio, how to formulate my ideas in writing, and how important it is to have professional social media accounts. It gave me an insight into how the classical music industry works and gave me clear guidelines on how to find my way in it.

I would recommend the program to anyone who wants to establish a career as a performing artist.

Ana Sostar,
Piano player

News

If you are interested in our programs, sign up using the form below, and we will always notify you when we announce exciting opportunities for you! You can unsubscribe at any time later, of course.