First stakeholder approach for music intervention

Thanks to the job I found in April, in a Fintech Startup, I had access to the Human Resources area of a networking space complex in London, I already  talk with the event manager about the idea to bring classical music to the office, he shows his interest and suggests I present a formal proposal to scale it to their team.

I did the proposal and I already send it, it was reviewed by my tutor available here. I hope to receive a positive answer soon.

In the meantime, I will have other approaches with two digital agencies in London.

Discoverings about music as anxiety relief


After my second tutorial and after contacting a musician who will help in my intervention, I have been reading about Music Therapy and the role of music to relieve anxiety and stress. According to the article “Implications of Music and Brain Research” by Donald A. Hodges I found some important aspects to understand better what I want to do, and also I found the strong connection with healthcare.


  1. To speak about music is important to understand the concept of noise and music:

NOISE: “Sounds that exist without controls for volume, duration, or cause/effect relations.”


MUSIC: an intentional auditory stimulus with organized elements including melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, form, and style.”

2. Noise regularly cause fatigue, hyperalert, insomnia, and decreased appetite, some kind of music helps with anxiety but it depends on several factors:

  • The circumstances
  • The listener preferences
  • The intentions
  • Anxiety level
  • Distractions

3. Music therapist exists from decades ago and normaly are professional musicians responsible for the restoration, maintenance, and improvement of mental and physical health. Music therapists work in a variety of settings as part of the healthcare team.

4. There are some effects by music have already tested:

  • Classical music increases heart rate variability, a measure of cardiac autonomic balance (in which increased levels reflect less stress and greater resilience)
  • Rock music decreases heart rate variability (reflecting greater stress).11,12 In students engaged in stressful tasks, lower salivary cortisol levels are noted in those listening to music compared with control subjects, whose cortisol levels increased.13
  • Ins some cases Music could be compared to the opium effect in patients.

5. Music can be designed to reduce anxiety and is the type of music who has more positive effects: relaxation, mental clarity, vigour, and compassion and significantly decreased hostility, sadness, fatigue, and tension.

6. Currently the music therapy is used in several surgery and healthcare procedures as surgeries, cancer trearment, dying patients, among others.

Music therapy may offer benefit to some patients undergoing clinical procedures by helping to divert their attention from potentially unpleasant experiences; however, it may be important to tailor the intervention to patient desires and preferences.

My reflection
If I want to reduce the anxiety in the workplace using classical music… I need to understand better what the users think about classical music and also what are their current music preferences, some other studies show to relief anxiety using music it is important to understand the emotional connection with the songs because sometimes are the memories related to each one who create or evoke another emotion. That What

Originally I was expecting just to use traditional Baroque Music but after readings, now I will use some new popular songs. However, I will do a previous survey into the company I will do the intervention to understand what are their preferences.

Some new sources about music in the workplace:

  • The sound of cooperation: Musical influences on cooperative behavior. KEVIN M. KNIFFIN1*, JUBO YAN2, BRIAN WANSINK1 AND WILLIAM D. SCHULZE1
  • Whistle while you work? A review of the effects of music in the workplace. Karen Landay⁎, P.D. Harms
  • The Effects of a Single Music Relaxation Session on State Anxiety. Smith, Melissa




My process summary

1. First intervention results and class exhibition:

During the class exhibition, I show my first intervention results. I received 8 calendars from people from 4 countries: Colombia, China, México and USA. But just one people shared with me his emotions related to each event.

Learning points:

  • Use of time is something personal and private, however, working time is public and restricting to teams. People may feel observed or judge because their calendars, that’s why maybe I don’t receive more calendars that I expect.
  • Depends on the country people present less free time between each of their activities. The USA was more spaced and flexible while Mexico and China reflect dense time management.
  • On the calendars was possible to see no just working time, also time for dinner or transportation. Reflecting the blending from life and work.
  • Even though I just received one calendar with emotions over it

2. Results from my first tutorial:

After presenting my first intervention, I was encouraged for my tutor to research more about anxiety, since is one of my core research areas. So, I found the following books into the library

Resultado de imagen de emotional brainResultado de imagen de embracing fear

Learning points
Even though I’m still reading the firs book, there are some things to highlight:

  • Anxiety comes from fear and fear related to change. What does the workers have fear of in the office? Time constrains? Expectations? Lose their job? Reputation? Where his anxiety comes from? Are they really anxious or just nervous? How to manage this anxiety at work?  These questions inspire me an intervention: THE HIDDEN EMOTION BOX.
  • To have balance is necessary to understand the connection between mind and body, according to Joseph Ledoux there are two types of reactions of brain conscious feelings and emotional feelings
  • I found new areas to research: Mindfulness, neuroscience, cognitive science.

Because of this books and my interest in brain and mind, I found the online course: “The Science of Well-Being” from Yale University. I’m just in the second week but I found it really helpful to understand better the constrains we have as humans and how we create our owns fears and our values, and the importance to have “nudging” in our lives.

3. My serendipity moment

During my readings, and after the frustration of no receiving any new calendar with emoticons over it. I decide to find another ways of inspiration not just reading.  So I went to a concert in the Royal School of Music and while listening  a Saxophone Quartet, I found a match with the following song:

Music is the perfect blend of mind and body.

  • Music has intervals, times and rhythms
  • Music is teamwork and has the same effort
  • How to create digital team empathy with a group of musicians? This could generate awarness and reduce and anxiety?


4. Tutorial with Richie and Richard

After sharing my serendipity moment . They suggest me to read Focault and Jamming and discard the idea of asking people “hidden emotion box”

Resultado de imagen de jamming book

During the session, I shared my preliminary

5.New intervention idea

Bring to people offices classical music, theoretically proved that relieve stress and anxiety.




Class exercise – Looking for project visual connections

Today class we were motivated to go out from the building and look for images, shapes, objects, etc who inspired or connect with our project. Some ideas to my head:

  • Time is always on layers, humans are made of layers of time
  • Calendar is a map of time, but current calendar has not layers. Can we create a calendar to combine life and work and show proper uses of time?
  • For balance we need support points. What support points will work for remote workers?


Inspiration from Amsterdam (1)

Last weekend I visited Amsterdam, and beyond all the personal experience there I found some valuable inspiration for my project in two museums.

Van Gogh Museum
Honestly, I didn’t know anything about Van Gogh, beyond his “ear” issue, so for me was amazing to discover how he was considered the “engineer” painter. I think is not just because he creates a tool to add perspective to their paints is because he was, overall, a researcher. In the exhibition Van Gogh in Japan, you see how he collected more than 600 Japanese prints to get inspired and how he lived during years at the south of France to create the “painting of the future”. It seems all his painting work was a constant experimentation, and to me that is the essence of applied imagination.

Stedelijk Museum
From all the different exhibitions in the museum, A Fragile Beauty from Güten Förg was the one who inspire me the most for my project, overall because he creates some pieces that represent windows/architecture and I related immediately with the cells of a calendar, as well in some pieces his use of colors I could connect with representation of time events.

Resultado de imagen para GÜNTHER FÖRG


The new question I got about all of this is… Could my project become a piece of art? How can I be an artist if I don’t know anything about this field? Could my intervention become an art exhibition? Is this profitable?

Preliminary plan for intervention 1

Before to explore the ideas of having a balance, Pendle or swing, I would like to know how workers react to see printed calendars as a tangible representation of time and to identify if there’s any impact of the awareness about work-life balance to them.

The plan is the following:


1. Ask to at least 10 of my friends working currently in digital media, and in different time zones, to share with me a print screen of their worst week calendar. I did this form to ask for it.

2. Review the calendars an identify if they add events of their personal and family moments.

3. Print the calendars in A4 format, full colour. Add circles with a marker to the events related to personal and family moments.

4. Ask to Transport of London to allow me to stick the calendars in one of the underground halls for Central Line on Oxford Circus Station. (Or in the hall most crowded in labour weekdays) it could be between 8:00 to 9:00 am.

5. Stick the calendars side by side of the underground hall in Oxford Circus.

6. Wait for the crowd and video record their reactions while people walk or do the queue.

7. Optional: Attached a pen at the end of each calendar set with an empty sheet of paper asking something like: If you would like to have more time for you and your family and friends draw here a doodle (or circle or line)

My intervention process journey

Today during our class, we were encouraged to draw or project journey… by doing it I notice I was drawing all my preliminary intervention ideas based on my own research and some classmate suggestions.

But the most special thing by doing this drawing was to identify that for balance our time, we are crossing the bridge in a constant swing…. like a pendle…

Or like a real swing.!.. So I remind this popular comic in Latinamerica, Mafalda from Quino that says when people stop swinging… or put the feet on the earth… funny things go off.

I thought too about metronome, as another Pendle metaphor

And the classic Pendle watch as inspiration for possible interventions

Gravitational waves and work-life balance?

I discovered almost by mistake the following book in the Foyle Library: “The order of time” written by a Quantic Physics!

Image result for carlo rovelli order of time

The book was launched this year and is changing my life, because is a balance between philosophy and physics of Time. I never though my project will have a strong connection with science, so even though Einstein discovered long time ago: “present don’t exist”, for me is a really new finding that could help me to understand better that “Time is not made of things, time is made of events” and currently life and work are events that are happening paralelly.

That’s why the concept or image of gravitational waves will be helpful to continue thinking in my intervention ideas




About question process

(Post wrote during class exercise)

Thanks to class mentors I have improved my question a couple of times:

  • First I was thinking to use artificial intelligence to help corporate workers to create a frontier between work and life, but I understood that I was asking with the answer and being in my comfort zone that was digital design.
  • Then,  by mapping my keywords and researching about time, I discovered life and work are not separated and more than a frontier people need to know how to surf in those two worlds. So I thought creating a tangible representation of time will help them. But then I fail again because I ask if a physical representation of time in a balance will help…. and again that´s an answer.
  • Now by reading about the physical aspects of time, specifically from physics and science, I discovered that what I want is to discover or (re)define a new metric of time. Since historically the time was visible tangible: sand watch, water watch or clepsidra.