Category Archives: Process

The value of the unexpected for wellbeing [Reflection]

Beyond all the process to do live music events and make the people share their fears for songs… there is a constant in all my interventions, the “surprise effect”… people who don’t know what song will be shared… or workers that arrive and find a music in their reception. This creates a curiosity for the new… and maybe this curiosity for the new is something that the daily life of people at work is lost… since they can fall in the routine….

Breaking the routine with music or art in general, could also generate this connection with the three spheres of wellbeing? psychological, sociological and physical?  Personally, I’m someone who doesn’t’ like the routine, does why I avoid taking longer projects… I like variety and feel rewarding moments. Also is an important surprise is designed to create a positive emotion… and for it, the research is the clue… I dream in the future any company could hire a musician to work for the wellbeing, design songs, creat ambient music, support people wellbeing by research, understanding rhythms, projects. Someone who could be part of the team and work for and with them indirectly.

By the other side, I also dream my project of sharing fears could be connected with a music provider that could  use artificial intelligence to make easier the process to chose a song and analyse the words in the fear, create tags, among others… also it will be important to create a profile of fears of people,  and try to analyze what is happening psychologically with the help of professionals. I mean is not only about the fear is about be sure that we are helping.

Hearing and healing
When I start my research I was diagnosed with vertigo, and there I learn the importance of the ear for the human equilibrium. I was in a medical evaluation when I had several simulations of disequilibrium with movements and noise…  without the ability to hear our body will move completely weird and our mind will be completely affected. This causality has made me think more about the importance of this project for the mental health and the brain… we can create more scenarios to hear…. not only music, hear others, hear sounds of the world and nature, I know these mindfulness aspects are a little bit trendy, but being mindful is the ability to be present with all the senses, as society we have been completely visual… is time to get back to the ear. And it seems more people is understanding it… NHS is using sounds or recording songs to help patients with dementia… at the same time there is a project of NHS so in 2030 doctors will be prescribing arts to relieve anxiety and depression.

 

 

The hiddenemotions.org launching

After analysing the results of the first intervention where I started on Instagram to interchange fears with songs, using the free system “Weebly” I set up a simple website open to people to share.

www.hiddenemotions.org

Main constrains

  • As a simple website I don’t have data base to analyse or keep the data, I did everything manually so it took long time to answer.
  • The website was iterative because first people didn’t understand that the song to share was not related to the fear… was mostly to support or relief
  • Also I have to explain why to use just the email, because is the only tool I had.
  • Because everthing was manually it was hard to organized what song for who.

General Results

In 48 hours more than 10 fears were shared, for choosing the songs I found the support of some friend according to the genre… even though most of the people choose “surprise genre”, for the song chooser

Now the song criteria were to find a lyric and rhythm to change the fear for more confident.

Fear shared Song sent
Of new beginnings!! We are on a verge of moving. Am I going to be able to be the best version of myself during this chaotic time? How do I don’t get lost in everything that’s going on? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTvJXXXijgo
I’m afraid of being unemployed another year in a row. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK1Kd-uL-mc
Hacer las cosas mal / Doing things wrong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HJX-1-_AAY
Getting fired
Failure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWo-02Hsab4
Not performing https://youtu.be/pO40TcKa_5U
Not delivering as promised. Providing mediocre results. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMQhn7Wh98A
-Of not performing as my team and line manager expect. https://youtu.be/OpVBC_MYBD4
I had a sexual harassment situation…. I’m afraid of my safety.  (!!!!) https://youtu.be/Vet6AHmq3_s

In order to receive the feedback it was defined a small survey to identify de user perception of the song

Reflections

Even though people didn’t answer the survey, by sharing the fear it’s possible to conclude there is a trend of unhealthy fears… something the people is concern about that is based in assumptions and not a direct danger, also the current worried of performance could be a good insight so people could have into the companies better ways to measure their performance and have more certainity what they are doing god or wrong. Also to improve the project it will be important people give a little bit more context.

About the sexual harrassment report this is a new breakthrough that makes me think in the huge need to connect the project with authorities or organizations that protect workers rights. Also for the future website to have more ways to interact, measure, or help people will create a real impact or the change expected. The idea is to go beyond the song and the song becomes a pretext.

♬ The intervention I dreamed comes true! ♬

After one month of lobby contacting more than 5 companies in the digital field, finally, I found the support of an important company who build satellites to provide internet to the world. They allow me to bring a flautist into their workplace, just into the main reception. Here some highlights and learnings.

The setup

  • I rent 3 devices in the CSM Loan Store
  • One camera to record the people faces
  • One camera to record the general place
  • One audio recorder to have a backup of audio as evidence
  • Three days previous to the intervention I send a Survey Available here

Note: One day before the intervention I visited the place to ensure where to place the cameras and how to prevent any disturbing situation for other offices or employers.

The repertory:

With the help of the flautist, we define a repertory with a mix of baroque and classical pieces, we also add some commercial songs, because according to my research knowing a song previously increase the level of emotional connection.

The day of intervention

With the support of facilities Manager and Coordinator, we did the setup early morning 8:00 a.m., we play the repertory from 8:35 to 9:05, reaching around 14 employees and a group of 5 visitors.

Reactions

  • People got surprised, smiled and did eye contact with the flautist
  • Most of the people didn’t understand exactly what was happening
  • When they noticed the facilities coordinator was in the opposite side not all of them show the emotion they project in the video face.
  • Some of the employees say hi to the coordinator and say a gesture of “thanks”
  • Other employees were moving around to connect with some others and share LIVE MUSIC HELPED PEOPLE TO RECONNECT WITH EACH OTHER TO SOCIALIZE BEFORE TO WORK
  • Most of the people behind a room window where more engaged and expecting the next songs, also they were moving.
  • The 5 executive visitors where really surprised, facility managers were concerned about the expectations or if they wanted the music got stopped for their meeting but they didn’t have any issue, also the wanted to listen.

Learnings

  • The music could be connected with the morning coffee or breakfast so people know it is for their benefit and they understand better how to react.
  • The morning music could help to the “work onboarding” so people can be easily prepared for the day.
  • The repertory needs to be better chosen to don’t repeat songs and don’t disturb people who already arrived.
  • Since people socialize there should be a

Preliminary  results

  • People got engaged and show their happiness during the day
  • Some people have contact to ask if this could happen everyday
  • Some employees talk about their musical capabilities and share with others “I play the piano, I play the flute”…
  • Stakeholders feel really happy whit it an participate with people conversations. MUSIC CREATE CONVERSATIONS, MUSIC IS THIS THING TO TALK ABOUT BEYOND THE WORK
  • I also send a short survey to measure people perception of the intervention, this is the most important answer:

 

 

 

 

Stakeholder Interview: The Human Resources Manager

Thanks to the woman networks that I currently belong, I found a Human Resources Manager from a multinational company of marketing analysis. The main findings.

  • Normally Human Resources areas defined his intervention plan with a year in advance so they can define budgets: for workshops, medical support, interventions, career development, among others.
  • Currently, Wellbeing is just seeing like – healthcare -, or related to sports, yoga, and massages. Mental health is just checked in a standard review ONCE a year (!) that is made for external parts of the company.

About live music in the office
According to the Manager, the idea to bring classical music to the office was interesting, BUT needs to have into account the following considerations:

  • Normally live music into the office could be related to any event or upcoming company campaign, it is important to articulate the music with an outcome so people understand why the company is offering that. Just to have an opening and a closing of the intervention.
  • This could not be applied in all type of companies because depends on the flexibility and the schedule they have for meetings, calls, etc. So it is important to do it in transitional moments (arriving in the office early morning, after lunch or after office).
  • It is important the volume, tone, and closing the cycle with an email, or flyer so people understand why that music was there.

About acoustic box
This sound really exciting for the interviewed, thinking as a place where people can get in, listen to sounds, scream or have a mental relaxation. But she has the following concerns

  • The box shouldn’t be in an open space or where everybody can see who is getting in.
  • This should be in a quiet space (she suggest areas like upstairs floors, or terrace, etc)
  • It needs to have some rules to avoid people get in with phones or use it for phone calls

IMPORTANT: Stakeholder talked about agencies of healthcare, training etc, to hire their services. She finds the interventions I shared like an opportunity to create an agency who provides bespoke mental wellbeing services for companies, that could be contacted and added in the budget at the beginning of the year.

 

The Acoustic Bucket Intervention [iteration 1]

This week by Instagram, I asked my followers to use a bucket as their personal box to sing. I just achieve two participants, but those are my learnings:

  • I need to consider safety to avoid people got stocked or ill because of a bad use of the bucket. Both participants said it felts insecure, humid and hard to take the picture to confirm they do it (because they weren’t alone). Also, I should think about claustrophobic people, that may not be so able to do it.
  • Even though the intention was to relief anxiety by singing, both participants were more engaged for the “fun” of having a bucket on the head, so more than calm they meet again with their inner child.
  • Even though was not directly involved, by sharing the Instagram pictures a lot of people wrote having fun seeing my friends with the bucket on the head…. so indirectly I did others make laugh, and it could be also an opportunity to think about.

Reflection: Could I combine music, sound, and humour to relieve anxiety and connect with emotions? How does the box should be to provide safety? How could I do this should be in the workplace?

I’m thinking to create an acoustic box to manage anxiety into companies, but I’m a little bit stuck here because to test it I will need a more formal device. I was thinking to use an old closet, encouraging people on the streets to sing inside… however I just to figure out some logistic issues, to transport the closet, ask for permission. I also taught to continue with the bucket idea but using my clown experience and try to make people accept the challenge on the streets… but it was just a desperate action.

 

 

How musicians and music experts are helping me in this process

During all those weeks I’ve been thinking a lot if what I’m doing is new or it has been done in other spheres, so I decide to look for professional advice about my intervention idea an those are some results and suggestions:

Paul Brown – Musical Guide Beatles Story, Liverpool 

  • “Is a really interesting idea, there is a lot of good academic literature about the affective and emotional response to music in public spaces and workplaces, you should be exploring that. “
  • “Just remind Classical music might be not for everyone and not at all people would like to listen to music while working” 

 

Natalia Valencia – Music passionate and blogger

“So obviously you already read the books of Oliver Sacks?” (No yet, but now I will)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julian Gil Rodriguez – Violinist London Symphony Orchestra 

  • “You could involve music students to develop your interventions, is the opportunity to create new scenarios for musicians and make they begin to acquire experience and earn money in an early stage. I´m not sure if a current musician in big orchestras will do it but the new musician generations would love too.”
  • Think about Camera Music and

 

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.

 

 

 

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?