Name : Christy Henitha JV Location : HCL TSS, Chennai Tune Up Your Training With Music Introduction: Music is the universal language of the soul. It’s a part of our daily lives during travel, functions, TV, Radio, Movies etc. As trainers, we are always looking for techniques to add a little spice. We often explore brainteasers, ice breakers, and games which we can all agree, are successful techniques to spice up our training. I would like to put forth that using music in training can be very effective, too. Research has shown that people learn better when they are in a positive mood. To help our scholars get the most out of our training sessions, music used in a diplomatic & careful manner, can surely play a vital role in creating and sustaining a positive learning environment. Evidences of impact of Music: The ancient Greeks sang their dramas because they understood how music could help them remember more easily. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him. The music helped him get the words from his brain onto the paper. Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the great scientist who has ever lived. A little known fact about Einstein is that, when he was young he did extremely poor in school. But his mother did not think that Albert was "stupid". Albert's parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men. A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein figured out his problems and equations was by improvising on the violin. The top three schools in America all place a great emphasis on music and the arts. Few of the top academic countries in the world like Japan and the Netherlands, all place a great emphasis on music education and participation in music. At a subway station in Stockholm, Sweden, people preferred to use escalator instead of staircase. However, a group of engineers asked the- question, “How can we get more people to use the stairs by making it more fun?” They were successful in reversing the percentage by creating an interactive, musical piano staircase. Applying pressure on each step of staircase played a musical note. An amazing 66% increase in taking the stairs over the escalator was recorded, simply because the activity was made fun by adding musical notes to each step. Why music in training? Music can influence people to make changes for the better. Music can make a boring activity into a fun activity. In a training session, participants are more receptive and open to ideas when something is fun. Music can definitely give that 'fun' element and make your sessions more interactive. Music affects our autonomic nervous system responses, which means that our rate of breathing, our blood pressure, pulse rate and the electrical activity of our muscles are affected by the sounds to which we are exposed. Music is a motivator and listening to music has a profound effect on memory and general intelligence. So choosing appropriate music before, during and after training sessions can surely leave a lasting impact on the participants. Let me share, how I used music in the training environment? There has been a lot of research carried out into the effectiveness of music in learning. I do believe music has a role in the training room. Few ways how I used music in the training environment is listed below: Prior to Start - makes the training room more inviting for learners to enter, helping break down barriers, shyness and fears, as well as setting the tone for the workshop / training sessions Break time - makes the training room 'friendlier' for those learners that stay in the room during that time. On stopping the music, it means the time is up and the participants must return to the training spot. Instead of rounding them up and calling them back, this saves lot of time. Group work / Activities - Playing a well-known song during activities creates a sense of familiarity and enhances team work among participants Benefits: Benefits of using right music at the right time in the right volume in training, can be summed up as follows: - Establish a positive mood, minimize negative thoughts like fear and anxiety. Make the time move faster. Increasing memory and recall. Gives variety and makes the training sessions interactive. Better co-ordination and team spirit among participants. Recommended music equipment: Use Portable DVD/CD player/ Laptop connected with speaker systems, if room is small and you are facilitating a group of no more than 20/30 people. Ensure it has a repeat button, so you can set up your starting music/calling back music and playing over and over again if required. If you are training a larger group, you should have something more substantial. Get remote control to provide a very sophisticated session, where music can be started or finished from anywhere in the room with your remote. Suppose, you are using Mobile phones for music, make sure it is in 'flight mode', so that the incoming calls and messages don’t interrupt the music. Caution: - - - Plan in advance for what music tracks work for you, where do you get your music from and what music system do you use. Carefully select the type of music which suits the training and keep the volume in control. Make sure that use of music, does not interfere/compete with the attentional system when learners are trying to concentrate. Beware of using music for more than 10-15 minutes at any one time - learners will become habitualized to it and it will lose its impact. Ensure that there is constant power supply throughout the training session to make the audio system / speakers work. Arrange for a generator as well, in case of emergency. Take note of the copyright issues and the licensing requirements for what is public broadcast use and not personal use. Conclusion: The power of music in training cannot be under-estimated. If playing music in stores can get consumers to stay and purchase more, perhaps a little music in training might increase retention and make the training interesting & effective.