World champion whistler | Geert Chatrou | Summary and Q&A

February 15, 2011
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World champion whistler | Geert Chatrou


Geert Chatrou, a Dutch man who annoyed people with his whistling, became the World Champion of Whistling and now earns a living doing what he loves.

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Key Insights

  • 🎢 Geert Chatrou, a professional whistler from Holland, shares his journey from annoying others with his whistling to becoming a world champion and earning a living from it.
  • 🌍 He discovered the World Whistling Championship in America and won the competition in 2004, 2005, and 2008.
  • πŸ’Ό Geert eventually quit his day job as a nurse to pursue his dream of whistling full-time.
  • πŸ‘₯ Geert encourages the audience to join him in whistling during his performance, showcasing the universal appeal of this form of communication.
  • 🎡 He teaches the audience a simple melody to whistle along and creates a harmonious experience.
  • βš™οΈ Despite technical difficulties, Geert expertly starts the music himself and effortlessly performs a solo.
  • πŸ‘ Geert's success demonstrates the power of embracing one's unique talents and passions to achieve unexpected dreams.
  • πŸ’­ This inspiring story highlights how pursuing unconventional paths can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers.


(Whistling) (Whistling ends) (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) Thank you very much. That was whistling. I'm trying to do this in English. What is a chubby, curly-haired guy from Holland -- why is he whistling? Well actually, I've been whistling since the age of four, about four. My dad was always whistling around the house, and I just thought that's... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What motivated Geert Chatrou to enter the World Whistling Championship?

Geert Chatrou was motivated to enter the World Whistling Championship after his sister-in-law found it online and challenged him to participate in the contest. Despite initially joking about it, he decided to take it seriously and entered the competition as a way to showcase his whistling talent and prove himself.

Q: How did Geert Chatrou transition from annoying people with his whistling to earning a living from it?

After winning the World Whistling Championship multiple times, Geert Chatrou decided to quit his day job as a nurse and pursue whistling as a career. His success in the competition gave him the confidence to believe in his talent, and he now earns his money through performances and other opportunities related to whistling.

Q: What was Geert Chatrou's experience like at the World Whistling Championship?

Geert Chatrou's experience at the World Whistling Championship was initially unexpected but eventually fulfilling. After being challenged by his sister-in-law, he decided to participate and ended up winning the championship multiple times. This success allowed him to pursue his passion for whistling and share it with others.

Q: How did Geert Chatrou involve the audience in his whistling performance?

During his talk, Geert Chatrou invited the audience to whistle along with him. He asked them to mimic the tones he whistled and rehearsed with them before starting the music. By involving the audience, he created a sense of unity and participation in his performance, making it a shared experience.


Geert Chatrou, the World Champion of Whistling, shares his journey and passion for whistling. He discusses how he developed his love for whistling from a young age, despite it being seen as deviant behavior. He recounts how a challenge from his sister-in-law led him to participate in the World Whistling Championship in the United States, which he ultimately won. Geert shares his experiences of defending his title in subsequent years and how whistling has become his profession, allowing him to live his dream.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Geert develop his love for whistling?

Geert explains that he started whistling at the age of four because he saw his dad whistling around the house. Whistling became a form of communication in his family, and he joined in. Despite annoying and irritating people with his constant whistling, Geert continued because it was a natural part of his life.

Q: What motivated Geert to participate in the World Whistling Championship?

Geert mentions that during a Christmas Eve party where he heard music he didn't like, he tried to improve it by whistling. His sister-in-law repeatedly asked him to stop, but he couldn't. In a moment of jest, he mentioned that he would join a whistling contest. Unexpectedly, he received a text message two weeks later, informing him that he was going to America for the World Whistling Championship.

Q: How did Geert fare in the World Whistling Championship?

Geert reveals that he won the World Whistling Championship in 2004. Encouraged by this success, he participated again in 2005 and emerged victorious once more. Due to various reasons, he couldn't compete for a few years but returned to the championship in 2008 in Japan and won again, consolidating his position as the world champion.

Q: How has Geert's life changed as a result of his whistling talent?

Geert shares that he now earns his living through whistling and has quit his day job as a nurse. Despite whistling not being his initial dream, he feels fortunate to be able to pursue his passion and make a living from it. He finds himself standing on big stages, like the one in Rotterdam, and talking about whistling.

Q: How does Geert engage the audience in whistling?

Geert invites the audience to participate in whistling along with him. He instructs them to whistle the same tone as him and leads them through a practice session. Then, he starts a track called "FΓͺte de la Belle" and points to the audience when they should whistle along. This creates a shared experience and showcases the universal appeal of whistling.

Q: What has been the audience's response to whistling along with Geert?

The audience initially shows hesitation and uncertainty, considering whether they should participate or not. However, Geert finds their varied tones promising and encourages them. As the session progresses, the atmosphere becomes lively and engaging, with the audience embracing the joy of whistling along.

Q: How does Geert end his performance?

Geert concludes his performance with a solo by himself, showcasing his exceptional whistling skills. The audience applauds him, and he thanks them for their support.


Geert Chatrou's story highlights the power of pursuing one's passion, even if it may be considered unconventional. Through his talent for whistling, Geert has not only become the World Champion but also transformed his hobby into a profession. His journey serves as a reminder that embracing our unique abilities can lead us to unexpected opportunities and the fulfillment of our dreams.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Geert Chatrou started whistling at a young age and annoyed people with his constant whistling.

  • His sister-in-law discovered a World Whistling Championship in America and jokingly told him he should enter.

  • Geert not only entered but also won the championship multiple times and now pursues whistling as a career.

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