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The Everyday Power of Music

He always hung around, maybe a bit more than normal. I’d be setting up, turn to fix a flip chart or distribute markers and post its, and he’d be standing there, staring at the speakers, listening. If he saw someone watching him and felt conspicuous, he’d back away or maybe leave the room, only to return as soon as possible as if he couldn’t help himself. He was drawn to the music.

It was a two day workshop, over the course of which the participants walked through an assessment and planning process by consensus. It was hard work and they were very committed and stuck to it like champs. It was my privilege to facilitate for them, and of course I played music. In the mornings, during tough group work, I played music and watched toes tap and heads bob as they worked through various tasks. Our soundtracks varied in style and culture and we had conversations about the difference between jazz and blues and country and the significance of some iconic South Asian music, all the while feeling the deeper pull of the very essence of the songs.

At the end, amidst the cleaning up and good byes and thank yous and best wishes, he found me. I thanked him for his help with the room - he had been responsible for room logistics. He looked at me and said, “You like music. I will always remember that.” And as others moved around us, he told me of the music that spoke to his soul, quoting lyrics here and there, not wanting to leave that space. And I was reminded of the everyday power of music in everyday places to bridge boundaries and borders and backgrounds.

The conversation took me back to the creative reflective retreat the week before where we also connected over music. Both experiences led me to want to further explore the use of music in, well, everything, and of course expand my playlist.

And what about you? What’s your current jam? How are you using music in your everyday? Want to get involved with Space Bangkok? Help us expand our work building resilience and innovation by joining our crowdfunding campaign.

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