Music is a language we all understand

| Anna Eaton

We have recently been thinking about incorporating and harnessing music in our work at the Ideas Alliance. We’re always considering how we can bring humanity into our work and encourage connections between ourselves and others. And we think music can be a useful tool for this.

Music is very powerful. A song or piece of music can change our mood and even transport us. Periods in our lives can be remembered by the music we were listening to at the time. It connects, entertains and soothes us and to dance, to sing, to listen is an emotional experience. The way music moves us is a human trait that unites us all regardless of culture, age or gender. Stevie Wonder said: “Music is a world within itself, it is a language we all understand”.

The Dudley playlist

The Ideas Alliance team has recently been working on a project in Dudley. The work has an exciting scope for community engagement and storytelling – two things we get excited about!  As part of this project we decided to hold an event with anyone interested in getting involved. We know that a relaxed mind is also a productive mind, so we wanted to find ways to relax attendees and bring them together. We know this can be tricky in a workshop setting.

With this in mind, we decided to use music as part of the event and compile a playlist. During registration, we asked each attendee to tell us a song they’d like to listen to during the day and we added it to a Spotify playlist. We got some odd looks at first, but soon it became a great talking point and the playlist began to grow.

The result was a wonderful mix of the groups’ favourite songs and songs they were in the mood to listen to. We all listened to the playlist over the sound system during registration, the breaks and at lunchtime. It got people instantly thinking about something outside of work and sharing tastes, memories and ideas. I found myself saying several times: “Oh I love this song! I’d forgotten all about it”.

It’s the little things that count

We know from speaking to groups like Camerados that it’s the soft touches that can make all the difference. The warmth of a room, the twinkling of fairy lights, cushions, the food… and even the music. We love comfy spaces that help people relax and interact. It’s easy to scoff at these things, to think them trivial in the face of some major tasks and problems we face. But we strongly believe at the Ideas Alliance that the small, human touches and moments, make all the difference when it comes to building trust, relationships and creating change.

We loved being part of the playlist in Dudley because it was collaborative, fun to create and listen to and it helped all of us bring something of ourselves into the room and share that with others.

Listen to the Dudley event playlist here on Spotify!

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