Gimme a Beat!

By Katrina Harpell

Confession time – I get my kicks from facilitation!  The planning, the preparation, the arts & crafts!!!  And so this blog celebrates all things I enjoy about creating & executing work sessions, whether they be ideation, strategic planning, team engagement, or product innovation.  I hope some of my ideas help spark some excitement and creative thinking when you’re planning your next meeting.  Let’s get going!

Why Everyone Should Start Their Day Off With a Beat – Creating Your Best Music Playlist

Music is universal.  It can be appreciated by anyone and everyone, no matter age, culture, language.  Music can lighten the spirit, evoke memories, reduce stress, enflame passions.  It can make you laugh, and cry, jump up and dance, perform your loudest “I’m a Rock Star” karaoke, and well, some music may make you want to drive a sharp pencil through your ear into your brain to stop the torture.  But today, let’s focus on the more positive influences of music, and why you need music as part of your Facilitation Tool Kit!

How many of us have trouble remembering passwords, PINs, anniversary dates, but know instantly, without question, from the first bar of the song starting (that’s 4 beats – just one second) – that you’re listening to Billie Jean?  When I hear this iconic beat, my shoulders start moving.  Even without actually playing the song I can imagine it in my mind, and I confess I’m grooving to the beat in my chair right now.


If you have a half-day or all-day session that you’re facilitating, having music playing while participants are arriving can give positive energy to the room before your session even starts.  Choose music with a strong beat, pounding pianos, electric guitars.  DJ’s spinning dance music, house music, stadium rock, that quirky fun song you keep hearing on TV in that commercial that you can’t get out of your head.  You may not personally be a fan of today’s top 40, but a lot of your audience may be, and if this kind of music is going to get everyone pumped, then give in to it!  The last play list I created has now been used for 4 different sessions to start of the day, getting everyone energized – and has become a few clients’ personal running playlist too.

e.g. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy; Good Feeling – Flo Rida; I Love It – Icono Pop; Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia; Some Nights – fun.; Raise Your Glass – P!nk