Music is the universal language. And who among us hasn’t at least once dreamed of being a rock star? Whether you sing in the shower or have the talent to actually belt out incredible technical proficiency marked by performance consistency, intonation accuracy, and great musicality, admit it; you’ve thought about it!
Ok, maybe it’s just me that thinks about being adored by millions of fans in the spotlight on stage…. [When I’m getting ready to do a speaking engagement, this is my go-to motivation song. I’m a Leo, what can I say????]
Music transcends every barrier and has the ability to bring together disparate and fragmented teams. Music also has the ability to unite complete strangers in a harmonious interplay of melody, pitch, timbre, rhythm, and texture.
BuildSong’s Mark Epstein was the house bassist at a legendary midnight jam session at the Dark Star in NYC. The likes of Ace Frehley from Kiss, John Waite, the Tower of Power horn section, and countless 1st call studio and touring musicians dropped in to jam, as well as local pros and some amateurs. A real mixed bag. One night (or should I say one early morning), an African band with 3 talking drum performers showed up without their bass player. None of them spoke English. Mark didn’t speak their language.
Universal language prevailed. Within 5 to 10 minutes, Mark recalls he was grooving on stage with this African band, giving each other body language cues. The keyboard player showed Mark a bass line he picked up immediately and they were off, jamming and creating foot-tapping, hip-swaying, shoulder-jerking, head-bobbing music.
At the end, the extent of their gratitude for the jam could only be expressed in high fives, hugs, and hearty back slaps accompanied by broad smiles and joyous laughter. Music was the only language they all spoke and understood equally.
Mark brings that same feeling to his team building and applied creativity business workshops. He turns teams into rock stars for a day, facilitating an original written and recorded song. The effects on the participants is profound and the feelings experienced are deeply anchored, to be relived anytime the recording is replayed, whether real or in their imagination.
Creative Mornings is a monthly lecture series for creative professionals held at a business at 8am on a Friday morning, where they always open session with music. in 2016 they held the international summit where the host from each city came to Austin. These are folks who’ve never met, from all over the world, and their only common ground was their involvement with Creative Mornings.
Mark was curated to conduct his music workshops during the summit, and one of the groups created a band called The Manifestos. The best example of how a BuildSong creativity workshop brought together complete strangers is expressed in the video they created; you can watch it here.
Since music transcends all barriers, I’ll suspend my words and encourage you to visit Mark’s website. Watch The Manifestos’ video, and listen to the other songs written and recorded by other groups. For your next team building, problem solving, or other corporate collaboration event, consider a half or full day workshop with Mark to unleash your team’s creativity and enhance their cohesiveness.
And in the words of Leann Womack from her #1 Billboard Country Music hit,
“When you get the chance to sit it out or dance,
I hope you dance.”
Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder.