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  • Writer's pictureClaire

Reviewing the Playlist...

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

Recently, I ran a workshop using music to address some important aspects of “where we are now”. Music is powerful: it connects with the personal but addresses the universal – and the wide range of responses that arose from breakout groups and feedback time during the workshop gave me information and tools to take these ideas forwards, both in a development and a depth sense. Taking carefully chosen music to form a playlist, participants were given two main tasks: to listen attentively and objectively, and to respond emotionally and proactively. To help them on their way, I devised key questions relating to my expectations of their responses to the context and genre of music. This was used to facilitate discussions, challenging participants to find the rather elusive objective stance – the “self-observer” - and to engage with their own emotional responses and narrative generated by the music. My own experience was as rich as theirs, with both foreseen and unexpected responses giving me opportunities to understand just how far music can help to identify areas where personal experience affects engagement with others. Music makes its connection with us at a deeper level than words, triggering sensory and emotional responses that give us clues and routes into insight and understanding. Ideas are just waiting to be tested – the scope to understand cultural difference, and envision and model changes is exciting.

“Claire ran a Sadler Heath event virtually for us in September 2020. The session was beautifully facilitated and the combination of carefully chosen playlist, designed to stimulate a variety of reactions, and really useful provocative questions, opened up a rich seam of dialogue and, possibly more important, some obvious self-reflection and personal insight amongst a group of participants who have a lot of “skin in the game”. We all came away provoked, stimulated, more self-aware and somehow better enabled. Claire’s lovely facilitation, calm presence and voice and really appropriate pace created a really safe environment for the very useful exploration.”

Jeremy Keeley Sadler Heath


“We were educated on how one of the hardest things to learn about music and its potential uses is to listen objectively to what one is hearing, moving away from thinking and judging; the importance of taking self into 'observant, stranger' mode and notice what it's doing.”

Amanda, Executive Coach

“We were challenged to focus on our feelings and responses to the music, rather than our thoughts. This was hard at first, but once achieved was both liberating and surprising as to the places I found myself. Overall, an extremely uplifting experience with much to reflect on how listening to music and discussing it as a group could change the dynamics of a team.”

Participant and Business Executive

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