I’d like to include more music in my workshops, and after learning from Rich Allen, I probably will. In fact, the very next day after attending his workshop, I was presenting a workshop and managed to use music throughout – maybe not as effectively as I would have liked, but hey, I’m just learning.
Here’s the practical stuff. Rich uses a Bose Sound Dock with an iPod. The battery lasts all day and can be used outside, the sound is good – can be VERY LOUD, or quite soft. This website is a gem of a resource providing music for any subject or theme. Rich also used a remote control throughout his workshop, and used the loudness button a lot!
Here’s some of the tips I picked up:
Use a piece of music to indicate a particular, regular activity. For example, in a classroom, the same piece of music can be played every time you want the kids to clean up their stuff (this raises all sorts of evil thinking on my part!)
Play music during a debrief process. Turn it off when the time’s up and people will stop talking.
Play music as people enter a space to create the type of mood you want.
Play music in the background when people are doing tasks to create an ambiance that supports the work they are doing.
People will only talk as loud as the music.
If you’re going to use music, pick a theme and stick to it – don’t mix up musical styles.
And the best tip of all…
The best music to play for ANY situation, because it is recognisable by everyone, is 60s rock music.