Can The Magic of Music Make You Change Your Mind?

This month we celebrate the 8th anniversary of Moving Performance!

We’re thrilled to see how far we’ve come, the extraordinary people we’ve worked with along the way, and the excitement we have about what’s to come.

Of course we couldn’t celebrate the 8th of anything, without thinking of the 8 note octave.

The octave is the foundation upon which music rests. The theory of which is that every note on the scale has a twin 8 notes away in either direction. For example – Middle C, High C, Low C. All different notes, but all related. And to our ears very different.

An octave is the difference in pitch between two notes where one has twice the frequency of the other. Two notes which are an octave apart always sound similar, while all of the notes in between sound very distinct.

The Sound of Music

Sound is what we experience when vibrating air buffets our ears. If the frequency of the vibration is between about 20 and 20,000 vibrations a second it sounds like sound. The faster the vibrations the higher the note sounds i.e. the higher its pitch.

If we hear two sounds and one sound is vibrating exactly twice as fast as the other then they seem to fuse together into one sound and it’s hard even to hear that there are two. This difference in sound, when the frequencies are doubled, is special and this is what we call an octave.

Why would a collection of sounds have any impact on us at all?

The Affect of Music

But why would a collection of these sounds have any impact on us at all? John Powell is a physicist who has also studied musical composition and offers some scientific answers to what seems an artistic challenge. In his recent book Why We Love Music he writes –

experiments have demonstrated that music is extremely effective at curing insomnia; that shoppers spend more money in stores playing classical music; and that communal singing helps humans to bond with each other by releasing oxytocin into our system

It’s proven that music has an impact on us beyond our simple enjoyment. That it has a way of by-passing our cognitive choices and influencing our behaviour.

The Power of Music

Most of us are aware of the effect on our emotions that music can have. However the effect on our brains can be just as powerful. Oliver Sacks, the British Neurologist, wrote extensively about how the brain works. In his book ‘The Power of Music‘ he wrote –

Our auditory systems, our nervous systems, are tuned for music. Perhaps we are a musical species no less than a linguistic one. But there seems to be in us a peculiar sensitivity to music…

Another passionately musical philosopher, Nietzsche, said, ‘We listen to music with our muscles.’ This, at least, is something we can see. It is evident in all of us—we tap our feet, we ‘keep time’, hum, sing along or ‘conduct’ music, our facial expressions mirroring the rises and falls, the melodic contours and feelings of what we are hearing.

At Moving Performance we believe that by harnessing some of music’s power to move us, something magical can happen that can have far-reaching consequences. Beyond the moving experience, music can inspire us to change and empower us to perform at our best.

We work with organisations large and small. Most of whom have no connection with music at all. And for whom the outcome of our time with them is far-reaching:

“Ben and his team are AMAZING! Their ability to quickly understand, simplify and orchestrate a 500 person team toward a common cultural mission was beyond my expectations! In 90 minutes, they took us out of our comfort zone and the outcome was a mindset of a FASTER, SIMPLER and TOGETHER Cisco IT – with a recording that I can’t get out of my head. 🙂 Thank you Ben and Team!!”

Guillermo Diaz, Chief Information Officer

The Magic of Music

There is of course a lot of hard work that goes into one of our sessions. From our preparation for each client to the years of practice that has made the musicians we work with the world-class performers they are today. However we’re aware that so often something that seems almost effortless does happen amongst our delegates. A lightbulb moment perhaps.

And in the midst of that moment, for each delegate who is moved by the music, there is a moment of delight, impact and transformation. Perhaps it’s their surprising ability to sing publicly for the first time? Or their understanding of a complicated business goal through the insight of a musical metaphor? This is what makes each session so valuable and transforming. And what makes our work such a joy!

If you would like to find out more about the impact music can have on your business, we’d love to hear from you.