Music lets you remember stuff you thought you forgot; movies would be dull without it, and let’s be honest, doing the dishes without music is just flat out boring. We all listen to music, whether it is in the car, on public transport, or dancing on it while doing the dishes.
But music can be used for many more things. Sounds and melodies work as a brain stimulant. That is why it’s not only a gimmick but it also brings an added value during facilitating and training. See it as the fuel for our creative minds. Although we can agree that music can sometimes be distracting in the workplace, when used adequately, it serves as a powerful boost.
Why use music
So why would you put a tune on when working in a professional environment? Well, for starters, it can help set the right tone for your workshop or training. For instance, by stimulating the participants’ mood or calming the group down for a meditative reflection. At the same time, it can provide some structure to the workshop in a non-verbal way.
And, it’s not just me saying that. Research has shown that listening to music activates different areas in our brain: neural circuits link sensory-motor processing, memory, cognition, and emotion. So the next time a participant hears a Mozart song, s/he may remember the insights of your training.
We also know that it can deactivate a part of your brain linked with self-monitoring. So, it makes you feel less inhibited, constrained, and self-conscious. In essence, listening to music brings an extra emotional bump to your normal cognitive abilities.
6 tips thats will make your trainings rock (or not)
1. Set the right volume
Keep in mind that you’re not giving a party, but if you are: hey, invite us! Make sure it is loud enough so people can hear the music but low enough, so it doesn’t distract.
You can make sure the volume is at the right level by:
walking around the room to make sure the music is just right in every spot of the room;
having several speakers spread around the room. This way, you can make sure the sound is equally distributed and not very loud next to the front and non-audible in the back.
2. Sometimes, it is not the right time
Don’t put on some music just to put on some music. Know when to use it. The rule of thumb is: when people are talking (in buzz groups or plenary), don’t put extra noise. It will disturb and kick people out of their flow.
3. Fade in and fade out
Imagine: you mind your own business, talking to someone, and suddenly, out of nowhere, there is some loud music. Distracting, right? Don’t do this. Instead, choose to fade in the music (increase loudness) while putting it on and fade it out (decrease loudness) at the end. Or simply wait until the song is over.
4. Let it set your pace
You can use the music (or a specific song) as an indicator of time. For instance, you can tell your participants they have until the end of the song to complete an exercise. How long the song is, is entirely up to you. Just don’t choose The Rise And Fall Of Bossanova . It lasts more than 13 hours.
You can also use a particular song to signal that the meeting will start again after break/lunch/breakout groups. This avoids you to be shouting: “We are starting again.”
5. Make playlists
You can make playlists for different situations in advance, so you don’t need to think about the title of that one awesome song on the spot. Our suggestion: make a playlist for:
reflections: use positive, soft music without lyrics
evaluations: use positive music
energy: use upbeat music
6. Don’t ask, just put it on
Don’t ask at the beginning of the session if everybody is okay with playing music. There is always somebody who will be against it. You, as a facilitator, know best.
A fool with a tool is still a fool
Ideally, you should play your music on your computer. If, however, you choose to use your phone, make sure that it’s on airplane mode to avoid incoming calls disturbing the participants.
Whenever you are using the speakers of your working room, check in advance whether they are working or not, this saves you some embarrassment if they aren’t working.
Keep in mind there are different ways you can connect your speakers to the music source:
Have you ever used music in your trainings? Let us know!
Or contact us to know more about who we are, what we do and how we can help you.