Music-Based Learning 101

 
A one, and’a two, and’a One, Two, Three!

I have the greatest job in the world. And I’m keeping it.  When I go to the office I get to talk about which musicians are being featured in the next event and I get to call up Billy Joel’s saxman and talk music, I get test out new guitars and bring people together at companies like they never have before. It is fun.

It wasn’t always that way.  I used to run an online solutions agency.  It was cool, but it didn’t satisfy my soul. When the day was done, I’d go out and jam with friends.  I watched the dynamic in the room during those jam sessions and I noticed something incredible.  The room was in tune.  Each person was listening to the other in ways regular folks don’t.  When I came away from those sessions there was a deep sense of satisfaction no job could provide.

Eventually I sold the agency and had a chance to re-evaluate my career.  At the end of each day, I’d go home and pick up my guitar and play… just like yesterday.  There were two fundamental things I noticed.  People I used to jam with when I was a kid were dusting off their guitars again and going back to the activities they enjoyed most.  And the music industry was changing dramatically.  Today, music is all about live performance. Professional musicians are constantly looking for new places to perform and new audiences to share with.

I had a vision. Harness the power of music to teach eadership and collaboration.

As I became more and more intrigued with music as a tool for teaching collaboration and leadership, my wife bought me a copy of “This Is Your Brain On Music”, authored by Daniel Levitin.  This book brought it all together for me in an instant.  Mr. Levitin’s research confirmed everything.  I wasn’t the only one thinking about this topic.  This is where the passion connected with the science.  I then spent the next year creating a program for non-instrument playing people to experience the power of music-based collaboration.

The response to these programs was instant, and today, three years later, The League Of Rock provides a full array of Music-Based Leadership Training & Team Building programs to companies on both sides of the border.

One might think “oh, music-based learning… our company is way too conservative for that”, or “what’s music-based learning? We can’t waste our time listening to music and jamming. We need to get our people working more effectively on software programming”.

Music-based learning, simply put, gives people a deeply enjoyable, universal language for communication.  We don’t deploy new fangled wacky practices or wierd exercises.  The League Of Rock‘s programs utilize an age old approach to listening and trading ideas.

Simple. Fun.

In future installments I’ll talk about discovering the Customer Service Rep at one of Canada’s largest cell makers, who turned a rock song into a Dub Reggae tune as his work-mates thankfully joined him in the process.  They didn’t know he had this talent, and they didn’t know they could collaborate on that level. These people came into the event as relative strangers who happen to work together, and they left as a deeply and emotionally connected team.

In future installments I’ll cover issues such as “why do I feel like no-one on my team hears me” and “As a team leader, I’m having trouble getting my people to execute the way I need them to”.  The odd time I’ll toss in a few stories about a jamming with great players such as Richie Cannata. I’ll share inside scoops from Rod Stewart’s long time guitarist Robin Le Mesurier and many other music based back stage stories.

Where I live, it’s all about leaving the ego at the door, tossing the ball around, sharing, listening hard and enjoying the process.

Giving adults an engaging experience they truly enjoy to make sure they retain more information is the basis of everything we believe in at the League Of Rock.  Our clients usually come to us after having gone through many events where eight out of ten participants either fall asleep or try to make a break for it to “end the madness”.  During our events there’s always at least one participant who comes over to me and says “Terry, I wish I had your job”.  I inevitably agree… I wish I had my job too.

So, to give clarity to this “self-generated” introduction, this is how I arrived here today.  In 2006, I gave myself one year to “find myself.”  The challenge was to take my past experiences, my inner belief system, my understanding of music, and combine it, to transform my life experiences into a force for great collaboration and leadership.  When it all came together in my mind, the vision was League Of Rock.  An organization dedicated to helping people learn better leadership and collaboration through music.

This brings me to the end of my first installment on Music-Based Learning 101.  Please stay tuned… I’ll try to keep it fresh, engaging, a little on the edge, and always informative…  If you have any questions, I welcome them. Please feel free to connect with me at Terry@LeagueOfRock.com

Image Source: blogs.knoxnews.com


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~ by Terry Moshenberg on November 11, 2009.

 
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