Back in 2016, Jacqui Carias, a professional violinist, was upgraded to first class on an international flight and seated near a high-profile couple. The man, noticing Jacqui’s violin, covertly explained that he was planning to pop the question to his girlfriend during the flight and asked if Jacqui would perform during the proposal. Jacqui said yes – and so did the woman. The couple married the following year and now have three children.

Jacqui, the 384th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, teaches violin in schools, and also does private tutoring and gig work. Most children get conscripted into music by their parents, but it was the opposite for Jacqui: when she was three years old, she told her parents she wanted to learn the violin and kept pestering them until they agreed. 

Jacqui never needed to be ordered to practise; it was something she loved doing. Jacqui was so connected to her instrument and the music that it felt like she was able to access a higher state of consciousness when playing the violin.

Many years later, while performing in Europe, Jacqui was able to build an instant rapport with violinists from different countries, because even though they couldn’t talk to each other, they were both fluent in the same musical language.

Given that she works as a teacher, it’s probably no surprise that Jacqui is a lifelong learner, of psychology and business in particular. Jacqui is hungry to expand her knowledge, build her profile and grow her network, so she can attract more events work.