Corporate teambuilding through music

Most companies have a number of amateur musicians among their employees and this can be used to build relations and strengthen teamwork within the company, specifically at special occasions like anniversaries and such. How? Gather these musicians together to form a one time band (or when there are many: an orchestra!) to perform a few songs at the big event. I do projects like this and they are usually much fun, with a residual effect long after the event itself is over! Because of the varied (and surprising!) combinations of instruments and different levels of musicianship I write taylor-made arrangements and then its off to rehearsing. But what's the value for the company? Lets explore:

The lasting value is really twofold: first coworkers from various departments participate in this project. Often they are from departments that don't have any real contact in day-to-day business. During rehearsals people from different "rank and file" work together on a project that's free from any work-related bias. It usually introduces a new level of mutual respect among the bandmembers, that lasts far longer than this music-project itself. Generally, this also has a favourable effect that spreads beyond the people participating in the "company-band", improving relationships across the company. Second, I've noticed that there's a real pride at the final performance among the people who didn't participate in the band: "it's still our band, look what we can do!". You'll be surprised as to how this works out into pride for the company at large!

So what do you need to make this work? First of course, you need willing musicians. This should be no problem. Next you need a songlist. For team-building, its usually best to let the musicians figure this out for themselves; just provide them with the general idea for the celebration itself. Since the instruments and the musical levels of proficiency will probably vary greatly, you can probably use some advice here regarding feasability. You'll definitely need professional help with the arrangements for the band. Finally you need a conductor and rehearsal time & space. An outside conductor is usually best because of internal biases that might result from using an amateur conductor from your own ranks (if there is one). Think of this conductor as a kind of interim-manager you take on for a teambuilding project.

So, if your company has something to celebrate and you want to do something interesting: find out if there are any musicians among your coworkers (you'll be surprised!), and get a band together to perform at the party, for example as an opening for the main musical act. If you'd like some more (free) advice on this, don't hesitate to contact me.

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