The Search for the Right Music
Ever since Georgi Lozonav, the noted Bulgarian physicist and accelerated learning pioneer, conducted his ground breaking studies about the impact of music on learning, trainers around the globe have been trying to find the perfect musical formula to help them connect participants and produce desired results.
When Executive Oasis International formed a strategic alliance with Kuala Lumpur based FIK International to offer seminars throughout Asia, we wanted to ensure that our approach would be relevant to the various cultures in which we would be working. We weren’t sure what to expect. Acceptance was a lot easier than we anticipated. Asian audiences responded enthusiastically to accelerated learning with its emphasis on session starters, energizers, colourful visuals, and in-depth practice. Along the way, there were a number of pleasant surprises and unexpected discoveries about the importance of music in training. For the first time, we will reveal a couple of these secrets to you.
Asian Memories: My Musical Journey
In January, 2000, I got off the plane at KLIA, loaded my accelerated learning paraphanalia onto a cart and wheeled it out to meet FIK’s Mr. T. Saravanan. I immediately realized that I’d be right at home. You see I am Jamaican. The windshield of the car in which Sam Selvaj was waiting for us had a HUGE Bob Marley and the Wailers sticker.
On the way to the hotel we even passed a club called Marleys with a statue of Bob Marley in the front yard. These were the first clues that it was important for us to include some reggae on our accelerated learning playlist. (Little did I know that, 2 years later, I would be chatting with Malaysian Rastafarians selling Bob Marley tee shirts at the night market and sipping sodas until 2 am on the patio of the Reggae Club along Penang’s fashionable Batu Ferringghi.) More discoveries lay ahead.
At our first session, attended by 65 delegates at Kuala Lumpur’s Regent Hotel, we realized that tucked away in our boxes, we had packed the perfect ingredient to “spice up” our training. We’ll give you a hint. It was music by a particular artist. (Before we were introduced to this music, we had experimented with some royalty free music, produced by a training company. While it was well received in the US, reception from our audiences in Canada had been lukewarm. So, we searched until we found music to which Canadian audiences responded enthusiastically.)
Music by this artist, would also make a valuable contribution to our warm reception in Asia. From Bangkok to Bombay (Mumbai) from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur, the results were the same. In fact, 7 trips and over 1000 participants later, this music has continued to generate excitement wherever we have conducted sessions in Asia. The artist is Ron Korb.
Music by Ron Korb: Ideal for Accelerated Learning
Whether we are in Toronto, Singapore or Penang, participants in our sessions always BEG us for more of Ron Korb’s music. Music is a universal language. The right music can greatly enhance your training sessions. It can create a warm and inviting environment and build participant enthusiasm. The key is to find the right music and add it carefully to the accelerated learning mix.
A Toronto based and internationally acclaimed, Japanese-Canadian flute virtuoso, composer and music producer, Ron Korb has released 9 CDs including “Japanese Mysteries”, “Flute Traveller”, and “Celtic Heartland” the newly released “Ron Korb Live” CD and DVD. Ron’s music transcends boundaries, representing world music at its best. A tapestry of Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Celtic, and Caribbean influences, blended seamlessly together with jazz, Ron has created a truly original sound. Ron has performed on dozens of CDs, TV shows, movie soundtracks (including Being Julia).
Ron has travelled around the globe studying and collecting over 100 indigenous flutes. In Japan, Ron studied the bamboo flute and Gagaku court music. An award-winning song writer, major artists (including Hong Kong’s Alan Tam, Stephanie Lai and Yvonne Lau) have had hits with Ron’s music. Ron and his band regularly tour Asia, North America and Europe.
Preparing to use Music for Accelerated Learning
Based on our experience, here are a few tips for trainers and speakers seeking to ensure that their sessions are well received by multi-cultural audiences both at home and abroad. The first should be obvious:
1. Use music,
Music can cross cultural boundaries and linguistic barriers.
2. Always provide a participant profile or learning styles survey for the meeting planner to distribute and collect from participants prior to your session.
Include questions about musical preferences on this survey. Season to Taste: Catering to Diverse Learning Styles from the Spice of the Month Accelerarted Learning ezine describes how to gauge musical and other participant preferences.
3. Let the seminar organizer, client or meeting planner know that you plan to use music during your session. Provide them with direction about obtaining the appropriate license for legal use of music.
Musical Moments: Music for Accelerated Learning goes into detail about how to legally use copyrighted music and how to obtain royalty free music.
4. Create a musical score for your training or presentation and integrate music into various aspects of your sessions.
There are many opportunities for using music during training. Ron Korb’s repertoire includes selections for every phase of training, for example:
PURPOSE SELECTION CD GUIDED IMAGERY Flute Traveller Flute Traveller BREAKS The Great East Temple Japanese Mysteries STRECHING Caravan Ron Korb Live ENERGIZER Genji Ron Korb Live
5. If your audience is conservative, modify the manner in which you use music during your training sessions.
For example, during the early stages of your seminar, confine your use of music to breaks.
Check out Conservative Corner: Accelerated Learning for Analytical Learners in the Spice of the Month Accelerated Learning Ezine for details.
6. Before you play, a selection of music, briefly identify the composer, the artist and the title of the selection.
7. Involve your audience.
Even if it’s just a 1 day session, you can give the group a chance to select their favourite selections towards the end of the day. We sometimes give the opportunity to select the music for the next break as a reward for a mildly competitive exercise or trivia questions.
8. Add a personal touch to your training by sharing your own culture with participants through your musical selections.
For example, drawing on my Jamaican heritage, I have reggae breaks. I have taught delegates as far way as Kuching (Malaysian Borneo) to dance. Draw on music from your own cultural heritage, incorporate it into you presentations and seminars and it will help you cross cultures as you travel around the globe.
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