This is one of my favorite team-building activities – especially in the virtual world!
The primary objective of this activity is to reconnect team energy. Suitable for any intact team and will take five to 15 minutes, depending on the number of members.
Remind the team how songs signify events in people’s lives. We play “Pomp and Circumstance” at graduations, “Ave Maria” at weddings, and “We are the Champions” at sporting events. Think of the television theme songs, advertising jingles, college football fight songs, and love songs that couples adopt as “our song.”
Most people have a connection with music, whether it’s contemporary music, oldies, pop, classical, country, jazz, R&B, opera – you get the idea!
Frank Pacetta says,
“Music is pure emotion. It has the capacity to form an almost chemical bond with whatever other stray molecules of emotion that are whirring around to form unforgettable and powerful combinations that heighten energy and excitement.”
Try this activity to discover the music that energizes your team:
Ask the team to list their top five (or ten) favorite songs. Then ask them to think back to a moment connected with each piece of music. Chances are, they will rediscover “emotional blasts from the past” and find some new connections with their teammates!
Ask each team member to come prepared to share their list of five, pick a tune, and share the memory (even better if they can play that tune!)
Kristin’s Top Five Songs
- The Sound of Music—Julie Andrews. My mom’s favorite movie. We watched it many, many times.
- Get to Me —Train. My soon-to-be husband lived in another city and I couldn’t wait to see him.
- I Don’t Want to Live Without You—Foreigner. This song was playing on the radio when I brought my son home from the hospital – six months after he was born!
- House at Pooh Corner—Kenny Loggins. I used to sing this song to my kids at bedtime.
- Funny Girl—Barbara Streisand. When growing up in Encino, CA, my sister and I used to sing and dance to all the songs. (I still know all the lyrics!)
Debrief and Summarize
After the team has shared its musical moments, ask:
- Where else in our lives do we use music to inspire and energize?
- How can we use the emotional energy of music in our team?
- How can we use music to lighten our load and enjoy our work?
- What is your team’s theme song? When will you play it?
What is your “blast from the past?”
Adapted from Frank Pacetta’s book: Stop Whining – and Start Winning
If you like this team activity, check out my book, Team Energizers, for 50 team activities!
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.