Hmm… I wonder if you have your headphones on and are listening to music while reading this!
Although I am likely the least musical person on the planet when it comes to either singing or playing an instrument, I am passionate about music! What I didn’t know until recently was that music has a truly profound effect on both our brains and our bodies.
In my oversized bag of tricks that I roll into every brainstorming session, I always carry a beat up old docking station and an iPod Nano. It’s the first thing I pull out of my bag and fire up when I begin setting up the room. The music is always on during the session, but at a low enough level that it doesn’t intrude on the process or the discussion.
I receive all kinds of comments from session guests about the music! Sometimes, they don’t even realize it’s playing during the session until the very end. Other times, guests tell me how much they enjoyed the music and thank me for providing it.
Scientifically speaking, ‘ambient’ noise gets our creative juices flowing — moderate or ambient noise levels increase our thought processing.
When we struggle (just enough) to process things as we normally would, we resort to more creative approaches, resulting in big ideas!
But be careful not to crank the tunes up too much! If the music is too loud, it becomes overwhelming and we can’t process anything. I think that’s why I always have to turn the music down or off when I am driving and need to focus on directions — I know I am not the only one!
For your next brainstorming session, here are a few of my absolute favourite tunes! Give it a try at a low level and make sure that you include lots of different genres to appeal to everyone’s musical tastes!
Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
What a Good Boy – Barenaked Ladies
Old Man – Neil Young
Earth Song – Michael Jackson
You Can Finally Meet My Mom – Train
Ahead By a Century – The Tragically Hip