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 accelerated learning, trainers around the globe have been trying to find the perfect musical formula to help them connect participants and produce desired results.

When The Training Oasis, Inc. 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 accelerated learning. For the first time, we will reveal a couple of these secrets to you.

Asian Memories: Our Accelerated Learning Musical Journey

In Januray, 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. It didn't take me long to realize that I'd be right at home. You see I am Jamaican and the car that was waiting for us had a HUGE Bob Marley and the Wailers sticker on the windshield.

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.

When we started our first session attended by 65 delegates at Kuala Lumpur’s Regent Hotel, 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 kept on searching until we found music to which our audiences responded enthusiastically.)

It soon became apparent that music by this artist, would also make a significant contribution to our warm reception in Asia. From Bangkok to Bombay (Mubai) from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur, the results were the same. In fact, 7 trips and over 900 participants later, this music has continued to generate excitement wherever we have conducted sessions in Asia. The name of the artist is Ron Korb. It is with pleasure that we have selected Ron Korb as the featured artist for our newly updated and expanded Musical Moments: Music for Accelerated Learning issue of Spice of the Month.

Music by Ron Korb: Ideal for Accelerated Learning

A Toronto based and internationally acclaimed, Japanese-Canadian flutist, composer and music producer, Ron Korb has released 8 CDs including “Japanese Mysteries”, “Behind the Mask” and “Flute Traveler”. Ron has lived in Japan and studied bamboo flute and Gagaku court music. Ron is an award-winning song writer with hits that have been recorded by major artists such as Alan Tam in Hong Kong. Ron’s work can be heard on dozens of CDs, motion picture soundtracks and scores for TV programmes.

Ron and his band regularly tour Asia, North America and Europe. In fact, Ron has been traveling for years and studying flutes from around the world. No wonder his music incorporates Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Celtic, and Caribbean influences and blends them seamlessly together. His music transcends cultural boundaries. Whether we are in Toronto, Singapore or Penang, participants in The Training Oasis, Inc.’s seminars, always BEG us for more. The moral of this story is that music is a universal language and the right music can greatly enhance your training and accelerated learning sessions. It can create a warm and inviting environment and build participant enthusiasm. The key is to find the right music for accelerated learning and add it carefully to your accelerated learning mix

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:

Preparing to use Music for Accelerated Learning

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 or seminar organizer to distribute and collect from participants prior to your session.

Include questions about musical preferences on this survey. Our Season to Taste: Catering to Diverse Learning Styles issue goes into detail about how to gauge audience preferences with respect to music and other aspects of your accelerated learning and training sessions.

3. Let the seminar organizer, client or meeting planner know that you plan to use music during your session and provide them with some direction in obtaining the appropriate license for legal use of music.

Musical Moments: Music for Accelerated Learning goes into more detail about how to legally use copyrighted music in the training room.

4. Add a personal touch to your training by sharing your own culture with your audiences through your musical selections.

For example, based on my Jamaican heritage, I use reggae music during some breaks. As an energizer, I have taught delegates as far way as Kuching in Malaysian Borneo how to dance reggae.

5. Create a musical score for your training and integrate music into various aspects of your sessions.

There are many opportunities for using music during training sessions and Ron Korb’s repertoire includes selections that can be used during every phase of training. Here are just a few examples:

Purpose Selection CD
Guided Imagery Flute Traveller Flute Traveller

Breaks The Great East Temple Japanese Mysteries

Stretching Caravan Behind the Mask

For more information about Ron Korb and his music, please visit his web site or check out our Musical Moments: Music for Accelerated Learning issue that now includes sound bites of these and other original Ron Korb musical selections. You can also hear a sample of Ron's music playing in the background on our Discover Your own Oasis http://www.thetrainingoasis/realoasis.html page.

Practical Tips for your Training Session

1. If your audience is conservative, modify the manner in which you use music during your training sessions.

2. Before you play, a selection of music, briefly identify the composer, the artist and the title of the selection.

3. 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.

These tips should point you in the right direction and ensure that the music you use is well received by your audiences wherever you travel.

For more information about using music in accelerated learning sessions, obtain a copy of our special report:

Musical Moments: Music for Accelerated Learning

Author's Bio: 

Anne Thornley-Brown is the President and founder of The Training Oasis, Inc., a Toronto based consulting firm for rapidly changing organizations. Anne has toured Asia 16 times and offered seminars to over 2000 executives, managers and HR professionals in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Penang), Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok), and India (Mumbai). Petronas, Malaysian Airlines, Digi, Mobil/Exxon, and Dell Computers are among the organizations that have sent delegates to her sessions in Asia. Anne is available as a keynote speaker for conferences, instructional designer, facilitator for training and development programmes, and team building.