Forget the gym, stressed-out employees are turning to musical instruments to unwind. Frances Gibb reports
e is a lawyer at the top of his game – accustomed to handling multi-million-pound contracts in the music industry and working with the likes of Elton John, George Harrison and Sting. Now Simon Levine is making his own music – as a beginner. The global chief executive of top City law firm DLA Piper has gone back to basics as a pupil pianist, one of a growing number of people making music at work; the latest way for stressed-out City workers to unwind.
“It’s not like negotiating or winning a new contract, but you do get a real sense of achievement for something that’s otherwise outside what you usually do,” says Levine, who was head of intellectual property litigation before becoming a full-time worldwide manager for his firm.
This month these “pupils” will show off their newfound skills in public concerts – from singing to performing as instrumental soloists.
The catalyst has been an initiative called Music in Offices (musicinoffices.com) founded 12 years ago by musician Tessa Marchington and now involving hundreds of (mainly) lawyers from top City law firms from Kingsley Napley to Linklaters – or from the worlds of finance, banking and the media – all looking for a stress-relieving activity to rival the gym or yoga.
“We aim to transform business culture through music,” Marchington says. “Since we started, we have delivered 12,000 choir rehearsals and more than 60,000 music lessons to over 70 businesses. We recently signed up one law firm and, in three months alone, 20 people have taken up instruments from violin to banjo.”
Read the feature in full on The Telegraph website.