Creative and Music Director, Javier Peña, shares the story of his award-winning documentary, For Once in My Life, which profiles his role as a conductor of a unique assembly of singers and musicians who live with varying degrees of physical and mental disabilities.
This inspiring film captures the bond developed through their mutual love of music and their fierce drive to improve. If you've ever been told that you can't do something because you were too young, too old, too short, too anything, this story will remind us that we can overcome imposed limitations and succeed.
For Once in My Life was screened in more than 100 cities across the country and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State to be shown in U.S. embassies around the world. So far, For Once in My Life has been seen in more than 20 countries, including nations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As the creative and musical director of the movie and as a result of the film's success, Javier had the honor of being invited to the White House.
After 15 years, Javier concluded his work conducting this remarkable group and went on to create a leadership and personal development program based on the power of music to help individuals and organizations in the areas of leadership, personal growth, and team building. One of his biggest passions is inspiring and spurring others on to unlock their potential and achieve their dreams.
Javier Peña’s story: I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and graduated from the Yamaha Conservatory of Music with a major in piano. Looking for better career opportunities, when I was 25, I moved to the United States and began working as a part-time choral director for a small group of singers with diverse mental and physical disabilities. Meeting them transformed my life, so I decided to focus my life on expanding this music program.
Over time the group evolved from a small choir to become a full band with a horns section, keyboards, guitars, drums, percussion, and a blues-belting lead singer.
The band had a major breakthrough when it was invited to play for all the city mayors of the United States in an unforgettable concert The New York Times described as “a triumphant performance.”
The incredible journey of this group was captured in the award-winning film For Once in My Life. The film was screened in more than 100 cities across the country and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State to be shown in U.S. embassies around the world. So far, For Once in My Life has been seen in more than 20 countries, including nations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As the creative director of the movie and as a result of the film’s success, I also had the honor of being invited to the White House.
In addition to my career as a music conductor, I have spent more than 20 years directing documentaries and commercials that aired on national television networks. I also served as the executive producer of an award-winning weekly television show, leading a large team of creatives.
In 2011, after 15 years of a remarkable journey, I concluded a very special chapter in my life as the music conductor of the band featured in For Once In My Life. Now as a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker and I’m eager to share my personal philosophy and the practical principles I learned working with this group, principles that can create results and inspire you to achieve your dreams!
• Discovering Your Instrument in the Orchestra of Life
• Finding the Greatness in You and Others
• Igniting a New Vision
• Becoming an Inspiring Leader
• Building a Team to Achieve Unprecedented Results
• Overcoming Challenges and Developing Your Talents to the Fullest
• Letting the World Hear Your Music
Surprise your team with an inspiring and unforgettable experience that can promote teamwork, innovation and productivity in an entertaining and engaging way using music as a metaphor. Why music? Javier believes the universal principles and techniques found in music can be applied to any person, group or organization. Each presentation is customizable and geared toward integrating and allowing each one of your team members to work as part of an “orchestra.”
Each keynote is delivered as a 45-minute to an hour-long presentation, tackling diverse areas of personal and professional growth that inspires a real transformation in you and those around you.
Javier also offers workshops focused on diverse topics including personal development, leadership, team building, innovation, overcoming challenges, adapting to change and increasing productivity. The average length for a workshop is one to three days, depending on your specific needs and budget. A one-day workshop is packed with powerful content that inspires and engages your team. To take advantage of a full immersion experience, a two or three-day workshop as part of a group retreat is an ideal venue to develop the concepts and philosophy shared.
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