Music as a Team Building Activity
What is Team Building?
Team building activities are important in all walks of life and can sometimes be misinterpreted as a strange day out that you are forced to go on in which trust exercises are practised with a co-worker you've only had two previous conversations with. But many things we do in life are team building activities, even we don't know it. Finding those good shopping deals with the girls, a night out down the pub, going to that new escape room place, helping a friend move house. Many fun activities are team building activities, especially if they offer a new experience and gaining skills together.
But just like turning up at the office Christmas party, work team building activities can feel awkward and silly at first, it's not until the tunes are cranked up at the Christmas party that everyone can start bonding and feeling more comfortable. But sometimes in team building activities the tunes never come, and you're left in a cold field working out the classic Chicken, Fox and Grain riddle. What if instead, you and your teammates could jump right into a song of your choosing, but it'll only play if you work together. Even if you've never really met James from accounting, it is amazing how just standing next to each other, knowing that your teamwork is making a direct impact, can break the ice.
Why Music is Great for Team Building
Playing music as a team creates instant team awareness as every role is important and equal and at WeJam there is no lead singer and therefore no lead singer leader ego. That brings us on to communication, now your team is in a band how will they decide who plays which instrument, what song will they play and what their band name will be? How will they identify their faults to get better at the song? Will they specialise in one instrument or switch around instruments and put exploring and experimenting over perfecting the song? There is no right or wrong answer in this kind of team building activity, and it really allows each team member to express their individuality and musical views. This is why jamming together is the perfect team building activity as it is the purest form of synergy that a team can experience while not breaking the bank and having fun.
The repetitive action of music based team building activities means that the team can literally hear their progress in real time and see how working as a team is making them perform better. They can even start cranking the difficulty up and use their new skills to play a more elaborate set of notes, but this will also mean more communication to make sure everyone stays on time and no one is left behind not having fun.
This can then have great value for your business as these band experiences and new and renewed friendships are brought back to the business space, and you never know, they may start a real band together! It is also proven that laughter boosts your immune system by enhancing your antibodies and increasing your immune cell count, so playing together as a team can help to reduce illness and burnout, therefore not only creating a more vibrant and co-ordinated workspace, but a healthier one too! So we've put together a quick 6 step guide to forming an office band that you can sneakily email out that covers everything from office politics to dealing with those pesky adoring fans.
Find Your Team
You don't always have to wait for team building activities to come to you through work. Do you already have a great team and want to take that relationship to the next level? Are you in a newly formed team and want to break the ice? Musical team building activities can be more accessible to smaller teams, really getting to know your members, and can be revisited as many times as you like, unlike activities which involve completing set physical or mental challenges without room for growth next time. Musical team building activities can become a long term hobby and structured source of fun for your team that provides an alternative to going to the pub.
Obviously, team building is a very office based, pro productivity, invoking-memories-of-sports-day buzz word. So how about finding your team outside of work? Maybe you enjoyed playing instruments with WeJam but your co-workers are karaoke fiends, and the thought of singing My Way again fills you with dread? Time to find your own team! We break it down in our post The 5 Best Ways to Find Your band Members. Rule One is finding people you work well with, yes there are examples of bands who have made their greatest hits out of their drama, but is it really worth it? Put out the call to your friends and family and make sure everyone is on the same page about the level of your new band. Or get out that printer and phone and start making sure people know you're looking to start a band. If you're lucky with responses, you can even start picking and choosing your dream team without any of the pressure of including or not including family and established friendships. Another pro of using social media, flyers, or spaces like www.joinmyband.co.uk is finding people at the same level of difficulty as you to start your band journey together with. Finding your team is the most crucial part of using music as a team building activity, which can then lead into starting your own band!
Set Your Goals
Now you have your team, and you're thinking, where do we go from here? Well, hopefully in getting the band together, there should be an agreed level of what you each want to get from the band. If not, it's time to get together and discuss goals.
So you've each had a taste of the rock star life with WeJam and thought hey I might just be good at this! We're playing at Level 1, but we have great chemistry, similar music tastes and a sick band name. Well, a good place to start is by coming back and smashing those harder levels. Maybe it all falls apart at Level 3 when your lead guitarist says, "I just can't do it! It's going too fast! There's one part I get wrong every single time!". What do you do? It's good to know the limits of your band before setting your goals. It may be fun to say, "We're going to be famous" when everyone is at Level 1, but now you need to think about growth and time. Does your lead guitarist want to now put the time and effort into practice, and how will the rest of the team help them? Do you have a member who you know will turn up late to every practise or has a schedule that incompatible with someone else? It is important to decide early on what the motivations of your team are and that everyone is on the same page. Famous or Fun? One member's drive to be successful may impact on another member's sense of fun that they get from the activity, and it is important to recognise that a member just wanting to keep it fun is just as important as others want for success.
Goals can be difficult as they can make or break a team and need to be reassessed often, which is why successful rock bands share so many traits with high performing teams.
Thinking Outside the Box
Music as a team building activity doesn't always need to involve finding some old instruments and free space in someone's garage. At WeJam we've done the hard work for you, so all you have to do is show up and bring your team. We've thought outside the box to help make music and playing in a band accessible to everyone, and to start your journey as a team. But we've still put together a number of musical team building ideas that don't involve singing that can help teams to think outside the box when it comes to being musical.
If you are a teacher or student reading this, have you thought about starting an after school rock band club? By being divergent from the curriculum and being something that students choose to do, an after school rock band club can become a real project. As the same team turn up and progress every week their bond is stronger, and they learn that if someone doesn't show up it is detrimental to the effectiveness of the team, in this example, the ability to fully perform and get better at a song. And this isn't even getting into the positive effects of learning instruments at a younger age!
In conclusion, music is a team building activity that doesn't feel like a team building activity, and yet it can form the tightest and most in sync of teams. Music is also so versatile that it can be effective on any budget while also being so personal to peoples tastes. The amount of music we can make and have made is also endless, and we will only continue to be more experimental and push more boundaries, which is why finding simpler ways for all ages to get into music and collaborate is so important.