Here's to Music!
Issue 25 – December 2013
IN THIS ISSUE
Greetings for the Holidays! We're wrapping up 2013, and perhaps you're hearing holiday music at work, on the street, and almost wherever you go. We at Face The Music are in the business of bringing music to work all year 'round, and were sitting around talking about how there are many avenues through which music affects business.
There's advertizing, jingles, concert sponsorship, sonic branding (think: the NBC chimes, or the 4-note AT&T sonic logo), anthems, hold music, office space music, etc. Our specialty is for people to make their own music as a broader/deeper way of expressing, connecting, and communicating. We do it with songwriting and performance with a band—rock, blues, country, hip hop—you name it.
There are other people that are in the same vein of involving people directly in the music. Music Paradigm's Roger Nierenberg is an orchestra director that sits your people in the middle of a full orchestra.
"This was the thing to do for our group–unbelievable! It brought us all together–a great activity, lots of fun, and an awesome time."
"What a fun afternoon! Joe and I have both been getting great feedback so way to go!! I can anticipate more opportunities down the road."
Senior Director, Global Organization Development & Effectiveness
"Face the Music is an innovative and creative force. They unleash the potential creative expression of a group and highlight the unwritten rules of an organization so that all involved laugh, share and move forward to a higher place. I have worked with Paul and his merry team since 2003. They are timeless and just as relevant in this global environment as ever."
Richard A. O'Leary, Ed.D.
The participants' attention is drawn to fascinating and unexpected organizational dynamics within the orchestra, and maestro Nierenberg facilitates discussions on the principles and how they apply to leadership, teamwork, listening, harmony, rhythmic alignment, etc. and how they apply back in the workplace.
There are several companies that offer drumming programs. Where participants are given drums and percussion instruments and led in a process of creating parts, beats, grooving together, etc. This gets the people actually creating the music. As pioneer Arthur Hull puts it, "The simple act of playing music together profoundly teaches the skills inherent in becoming a strong and thriving community." There is a great feeling of connection being in the middle of all that when it really kicks in and starts groovin'.
Our space is in songwriting. Participants are performing music by singing (and playing instruments with the Face The Music band if they wish), and they also have expressed themselves through collaborating to create the lyrics. They look at themes in the company, challenges, make funny references to the corporate culture, and have the ownership of creation when the go up to premiere it for their co-workers from the stage.
All of this can and does connect to what's happening back on the job. The shared experience of music is a powerful connecting force and it has an impact on the culture of the people that shared it. There is a natural alignment that happens—the emotional responses to a common musical experience appreciably consistent and shared by all the members of the group.
There is also a lot of research showing the effect that music has on the brain. It lights up a broad spectrum of neural activity and creates the opportunity for creative thinking and connections that can be generalized beyond the musical experience. This has great implications for innovation, and for the ability to perceive and respond to a changing environment—exactly what is needed in today's business climate.
So enjoy your holidays, listen and make good music, and think about how bringing music to your work can make a difference.
What would you say is the most popular instrument in the USA: Piano, guitar, drums, cello or what about voice? We'll get back to that later. Right now I invite you read about an unexpected popular instrument: the one Eddie Vedder, Israel Kamakwiwo'ole, Tiny Tim, and Jason Martz have in common. The ukulele.
Being a guitar teacher I noticed over the last 5 years the more precocious guitar students I have double on ukulele—it's become a part of our popular music culture. What was once considered a toy instrument or only for Hawaiians, is now being used in public schools to teach music as a legitimate song writing and playing tool. There's even "The Ukulele Orchestra of Britain" and ukulele camps.
For under $40 you could be playing a three-chord song in a few minutes and sounding good. It's a happy sound and for all you "Indies" out there it has a bit of an underground mystique to it. Now back to the question at hand, according to many sources vetted the most popular instrument in the USA is still the piano! But would you give a piano or ukulele as a gift this holiday season? Have a Great one!
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