I stumbled onto on article on ehow.com about team building activities using music and it made me realize I haven’t yet shared my own ideas and recommendations.
Below are team building activities using music that I really like. There are several great activities outside the realm of the programming my company offers. Some of these are do it yourself ideas. Others require bringing in outside musicians with team building expertise.
DIY Team Building Activities Using Music
Do it yourself ideas are always great because you’re in control of when and where. They are activities you can do whenever you want, without the expenditure of having to bring in experts like me!
One simple thing you can do as an icebreaker activity is to ask everyone to share their favorite song, to describe where they were when they first heard it and explain why it has meaning to them. This can get really interesting when two people share the same favorite song but have completely different personal stories about their connections with the song. In addition to songs, you can do this with favorite bands too.
A team song session is a great way to get everyone in your group to engage and open up. Whether it’s sharing favorite bands or songs, bringing music into your work life is a great way to create new connections and jump start conversations that aren’t just about work.
Here’s a DIY activity to create and record original team lyrics:
- Bring in a karaoke track of a well known song or better yet, if you have a musician on your team, ask them to play the music for you. Use a flip chart to capture ideas.
- Ask these questions to get source material for your song: If your team had a title what would it be? What is you team’s mission? What differentiates your products and services? What’s your favorite thing about your job. What’s your least favorite thing? As people share ideas, capture key phrases on flip charts. You’ll see common themes emerge.
- Turn one of your main themes into your song title, commonly known as the hook. Once you have the hook, complete your song chorus lyrics around the hook. Your chorus is the sing-along part that repeats. It should include your big ideas and themes.
- After you’ve created your chorus, go back to brainstorming. Fill flip charts with details about the work you do. Highlight details that support the theme of the chorus you’ve already written. Use these ideas and create your song verses.
- Make sure to keep referencing the karaoke track, or having your team musician play the melody, as you continually fit the lyrics to the music.
- When your lyric is done, ask everyone to stand up and sing your song. You can easily record your performance using the digital recorders built into your smart phones. You’ll most definitely want to shoot video of everyone singing your original song.
Professional Music Team Building Programs
Large Group Orchestral
Talk about a large group instrumental; how about an entire orchestra! In this program, the way in which a a successful orchestra collaborates and thrives becomes a metaphor for team work. You’ll be inspired by great musicians on stage and you’ll get to sit in with the orchestra.
You’ll learn how a section, such as woodwinds or strings, contributes to the success of the entire orchestra or team. This is not a low-budget program, but it’s one of the most inspiring team building activities I know of. While there are several companies leading these types of programs, Music Paradigm was one of the originators. There are qualified leaders who facilitate this program in the US and also in Europe.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be musical, songs are part of the narrative of your life. This narrative includes songs like your favorite tune from high school or the first dance at your wedding. The programs I offer through Kidbilly Music bring the power of emotion, song and story to organized team building.
Here is one example of the use of song and music to inspire and energize your team:
Whether you’re part of a corporate team, a small company or an association you have a message and culture that differentiates you from others. Song programs will help you tell your group story. You’ll create powerful takeaways as you write your own team chart toppers.
Music brings a great mash up of intellect and emotion, great for motivation and engagement. But bottom line and most important, programs with music are fun!
During my days as a jazz pianist in New York, it was fun to debate with the drummers in our group as to whether they were really musicians. Well of course they were and are. And of course drumming is real music.
As a team building activity, drumming is high energy, visceral, high engagement fun. A main takeaway, similar to the orchestral experience, is learning how to collaborate and work together to achieve a unified result. This result is your final drum performance.
Drumming programs are great conference openers. They’re effective as short sessions and will wake everyone up. While drumming is not my personal specialty, I’ve partnered successfully with a world renowned drum leader to offer our own style of drum programs through Kidbilly Music.
Whether you decide to try a DIY activity or bring in a professional, music is a powerful way to bring a team together, creating energy and enthusiasm. Consider the role music plays in your personal life – It helps you make emotional connections, it can inspire you or act as a great pick me up. Music can have the same power in your work life and is really worth integrating into your team activities.
Visit our team building programs to learn more about your options for weaving great team building activities using music into your organization.