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Interview: Jim Cochran
I am so very excited to introduce you to my friend Dr. Jim Cochran, who is a longtime friend of the family and a fabulous musician in Naples, Florida. He is the organist and director of music at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church and also the founder and conductor of the Naples Philharmonic Chorus, among other groups. He’ll give you the full list in the interview. Jim very graciously agreed to be my guinea pig for my first recorded interview, and I think you’ll really enjoy hearing his thoughts on his creative journey and process. He’s actually rather unusual in his creative journey in two respects: he was always unquestioningly supported by his family–no “You can’t do THAT for a living!” here–and he procrastinates in other ways, but not when it comes to music. (Check out his comments at 13:10 for more on that). He does know the two-faced Demon Perfectionism quite well, though! Without further ado, I present to you the wise and wonderful Jim Cochran!   (If you have trouble playing the audio, please try this page in the Chrome or Safari browser.) Here’s a rough breakdown of what we talked about:
Jim at the console of the Naples Philharmonic's Casavant organ--a favorite photo of mine.

Jim at the console of the Naples Philharmonic’s Casavant organ.

0:00 How Jim chose music, and his early teachers and influences 5:00 How he was supported in his career direction, and his “backup” plan 7:20 Another surprising influence (one you really might not expect!) 11:00 How Jim gets “inside a composer’s mind” 13:10 Procrastination and (14:22) a the power of deadlines 16:30 The best side benefit of his work so far (and some confusion about fish and ponds!) 18:45 A great story about working with German baritone Hermann Prey 20:55 On not fitting in as an artist 22:30 On the Muse, having to do the “grunt” work, and “post-partum depression” 27:19 Dealing with the double-edged sword of perfectionism 30:00 Jim’s experience working with kids, and finding his own inner kid 33:00 Creativity and spirituality, and being “in the zone” 37:56 Jim’s current projects 39:55 Parting advice   You can find Jim at: Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church Artis Naples¬†(Jim’s page is here) (239) 592-5398 Have you ever been in the right place at the right time to learn from someone extraordinary? How do you deal with procrastination and perfectionism? Have you experienced “post-partum depression”? ¬†Tell us about it in the comments. Don’t forget to share this interview with your friends using the buttons below!


  • Maggie says:

    What a cool guy! It’s taken me a few days to set aside 40 minutes to listen, but I’m glad I did. I really appreciate the generosity he showed in identifying the famous (but maybe unknown to the non-musical listener) people he spoke about. He sounds like one of those truly lucky folks who had parental support all the way and ended up in the perfect career. I appreciate so much his comments about starting with 30 minutes of technical work every single day, and the lovely warm way he spoke of his teachers, students, and choir. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness!!! I worked with Jim YEARS ago when I was part of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Chorus. I looked him up for a project I’m doing and I am so glad I found this. Miss You.

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