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Leadership through Music

What is it? 

This well-tested programme is designed to help leaders explore different dimensions of meaning and value and to contrast them with popular life-views such as scientific materialism, monetarism, or romanticism. Through the power of music there’s an opportunity to step out of our ordinary lives in the resonant and historic University Church. It’s an exercise designed to help executives reflect on how to bring an added sense of meaning and purpose to the work place.

A quartet of professional singers offers an hour-and-a-half long programme of unaccompanied choral music ranging from the 16th to 20th century interspersed with participatory discussion introduced by the facilitator. For example, after the first piece participants will be asked to give their initial response: did the music affect them in any way? Did it mean anything? The facilitator draws out discussion and involves everyone, but is not didactic. Where helpful the music director comments on musical history and explains any musical technicalities. The exercise develops through the basic question:  Does the use of an alternative ‘language’ (music) help us to evaluate what matters?

While the choral pieces are taken principally from the ecclesiastical repertoire, secular songs are included and we end with a close harmony piece.

The Facilitator

The Facilitator is author and speaker, Brian Mountford, Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, who is very experienced as a conference facilitator. He has regularly delivered this programme very successfully for the Dutch ‘Academy for Leadership’.  Despite being ordained his approach is entirely impartial and open-minded.

The singers

The singers are all Oxford graduates who are encouraged to make their own spoken as well as sung contribution.


The location will be in one of Oxford's college chapels. Meals are taken in St Hilda’s College, overlooking the River Cherwell with a long view of Oxford’s dreaming spires and Christ Church Meadows. This is a taste of the ‘Oxford Experience’.

How Long?

The programme starts ideally at 4.30pm or 5pm and (including tour, drinks and dinner) lasts four hours.

Basic programme: one and a half hours. Two hours when including tour of church and climbing church tower. Four hours when including dinner at St Hilda’s College

How much?

£2500 (includes choir fees)

We can offer Dinner, including drinks, at a reasonable price.

Contact: Brian Mountford 01865 682237 Mob 07789 222760


Leadership through the conductor’s baton

We also offer a programme in which, after a very short tutorial, participants are invited to have a go at conducting a small professional choir. The choir will respond to their every move, whether extravagant gestures or indecisive movement. It’s fun and very revealing about the nature of leadership.

The fact that the singers are highly trained and expert in their own fields, provides a basis for thinking about leadership in relation to your most senior colleagues.

The whole group, participants and professionals, will sing together without a conductor as a way of seeing other leadership problems. People love it!

Fees and structure are exactly the same as for Leadership through Music.

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