Often when I do public talks, especially if I am doing a full day session, I like to use music to supplement and compliment the themes we are discussing. This approach really helps because most training efforts are lecture oriented where the trainer is speaking or sharing concepts and the audience is listening to the themes. It can be tedious as the audience is calling heavily upon the left side of their brains to synthesize and understand the information.
With music, however, we often call upon the right side of our brains to digest the music and use our creative side in this process. Beyond this, the music breaks up the didactic influence and broadens the flow - it makes people feel better, more alive and engaged.
Of course, when I do this I make sure I have passed out "song books" that allow the audience to follow along with the lyrics and try to make connections between the theme at hand and how the lyrics relate. This is especially helpful if I am using a song that is not widely known.
With most of my talks we are looking closely at social capital and the importance of relationships in our lives, so I found a wonderful song, written and performed by Kenny Rankin, titled "Like A Seed." Now if you are not familiar with Kenny Rankin, he was an amazing singer/songwriter who left us far too soon. His voice offers a unique 3-octave pitch and you would do well to spend some moments with his work. In fact, when you finish this blog post, take a moment to google Kenny Rankin and "Like A Seed."
Before you do, however, I wanted to point out some of the beautiful lyrics, and how they relate to importance of home, hearth, and relationships. I particularly like how the lyrics suggest that awakening to these basic elements of life, which many of us take for granted, are like a paradigm shift. Here are the key lyrics to "Like A Seed."
"There's a feeling that's lying here sleeping, like a seed in the earth. There's a new day, a new day and a new way. We're all gonna rise together, we're all gonna fly forever. Over all the shiny cities; and there'll be nothing left to hide - all will be known. We're going home.
Sometimes when this feelin arises, and everything is too much in place. There's no room to move; and nowhere to run. We just got to keep our souls free; we just got to live and let it be. Love and trust your sisters and brothers, and there'll be nothing left to hide - all will be known - We're going home!"
The power of music and poetry is found in its simplicity. The blending of melodies with the unique words chosen can create an amazing gestault, and, in a way, help connect the dots.