Music Team Building in Harmony
Here’s how Music can be an excellent team building tool!
An Egyptian friend of mine, living in the USA for almost 13 years now, doesn’t understand the Hindi language at all. But, last year, at a party in Delhi, when the guitarist played an old Hindi song, he absolutely loved it. Next day, on his way to the airport, he was humming the melody and after a week he wrote to me asking for the lyrics and the English translation of the song. Last month, when I met him again, he remembered the song and was very good with the melody as well. This small incident made me realize that music allows us to connect across the boundaries of countries and cultures without any language – such is the power of Music!
No doubt, there are approximately 6500 spoken languages throughout the world today but if there’s one thing that has outspoken all languages, it is music. It has the ability to bring people together, trigger emotions and transcend the boundaries of hearts and minds. This power is ubiquitous.
And here’s the game, when we say music brings people together beyond differences, can it be a means to create stronger teams? Indeed! It is substantiated by a number of researches and studies that listening to music and singing together directly impact neuro-chemicals in the brain, many of which play a critical role in creating human bonds and connections. There’s a lot of evidence that confirms music’s place in augmenting our social relationships. Perhaps that’s why, when we want people to bond, music is a natural resource for making that happen. Whether at concerts, social events, or conferences, music can help us connect, cooperate, and care for each other. This suggests that music can definitely be a strong force for building strong teams, be at home or organization.
One such musical team building activity for harmony is the Anthem workshop. It is a unique and innovative team building activity which provides the participants with an opportunity to create and record their team anthem. The team is guided and assisted by professional musicians and facilitators to write and record their very own team anthem to a theme and melody of their choice. The anthem is a tangible and long-lasting product and this brilliant musical experience is a memory for a lifetime. The best part- the activity, the experience, and the anthem is completely unique to that particular team.
So what’s the process of making an anthem all about? And how does it work?
At our last anthem workshop, 40-45 members, of the leadership team of a global organization were divided into 5 smaller groups. When they were told they will write an anthem for their team, everyone was surprised, few shocked yet there was an excitement in the room. People from different parts of the world, though working together as one team has different personalities- extroverts, introverts, thinkers, doers, believers, initiators, innovators and then there are those who would not do much but would contribute with their feedback. And, when it came to making an anthem, everyone got involved and was a part of the process. They worked in their respective groups to brainstorm and figure out the theme, something which is unique to what their team stands for. After selection of a theme, they moved on to decide the music track/ melody, the music which resonates with their theme. Next was the core business- writing lyrics and here the hidden talents of the teams were unleashed. Amidst a lot of laughter and fun, every team came out with beautiful lyrics. Each word being associated with their emotions and passion for the organization, it was a challenging task to collaborate and prepare one common anthem lyrics from 5 different scripts. The ultimate goal was to prepare a final melody with these lyrics. And the end result, everyone sang together, proudly, and got their anthem recorded, the anthem which they were going to present to the larger group the next day as a part of their annual meet.
This entire activity was all about the demonstration of soft skills and behavioral skills that comes into play in managing relationships, about the individual leadership styles that they exhibit and about collaboration in a musical way. This remarkable experience filled everyone with much joy, pride and a strong sense of belonging. The team anthem workshop which they will always cherish as a beautiful memory, impact their leadership style and their understanding of collaboration in building a team in harmony.
Their team lead told us that they consider the bonding time during the meals to be very crucial. However, the joy and shine in their eyes as they passionately sang together for their team anthem was clearly a magical transformation. The team named their anthem as- One Team One Dream and truly after the anthem workshop they felt so too. The participants shared they were feeling closer and more connected because of that experience of singing together. Singing Together indeed is a powerful glue.