Sunday, 21 August 2016

If you’re happy and you know it.....

So what did you get up to this weekend? If you went to a concert and go every now and again, you may feel better about life. A study from researchers at Victoria’s Deakin University surveyed 1,000 Australians and found that those who attended any sort of communal musical experience, be that a festival or just a night out dancing reported higher levels of satisfaction with their lives.

This is probably no surprise. Most cultures have a tradition of people meeting up and belting out a few tunes, from the Cheile House in Ireland, to Jamming Sessions in more modern times, to singing at Sunday Service, to rhythmic rituals in ancient or indigenous cultures. Shared communal musical experiences have always been with us and according to Deakin University for good reason - our emotional well-being.

However, in recent times, musical experience has become much more personalized. We have our own playlists on Spotify, shuffle our MP3 collections or stream our favorite artists on YouTube. There is less of a shared musical experience and more of a niche  individual one. That is not all bad, it reflects our choice and preferences.

Many organisations which look at staff well-being have devised appreciation days, team building events and other initiatives to motivate and create a buzz. There has been a move away from the once common company or department night out.

You are now more likely to lift a work colleague over a wall on a team building day than you are to show them a near perfect Moon Walk routine on the dance floor. According to the people at Deakin University, we may need to swing the pendulum back a little and have a few more nights out, be that to concerts or just a night on the tiles, and do so regularly.

If for all kinds of logistical reasons, company nights out are hard to organise, create a scheme where your department regularly has subsidized concert tickets or allow staff to leave early / come in late to make attending events feasible. This could work both ways, staff get a perk and organisations get a workforce that is more satisfied with life.

As artists find it harder to get revenues from singles or album sales (because of the aforementioned Spotify), more and more are now touring. There has never been a better time for live music. Encourage people to leave the playlists at home, pack their dancing shoes or air guitar and enjoy their music.

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