Before any one gets worried – we love working with all our clients! One of the reasons that we don’t specialise in websites for a particular sector or niche is because the variety is crucial to us (and we want to avoid conflicts of interest too). However, every now and again, we find that we are actually the target market of whatever site we’re building – and we get properly intrigued and more involved than we ever thought (or planned) we would. One of these is The 52 Project – and 3 months on from “Jen, I need a new bit of website, fast”, I’m now here contributing to the “Playlist for Life” tip – using the knowledge that I actually studied for at University.
The 52 Project is a collaborative wellbeing project run by Dulcie Swanston from Top Right Thinking and Dr Iain Price from Think it Out. The concept is simple – each week they share a tip on Instagram that can boost your brain, body or mind – and ask the growing 52 Project community to try the tip out – and report back on how it’s worked for them. Using this evidence on each tip, they’re planning to publish a book in January 2022 explaining the tips that worked best in real life for real people.
I seem to have become one of the ‘real people’. I wasn’t planning to – but drinking a pint of water before I got up each morning seemed achievable – so I tried it. Seemingly rehydrating my brain before I get up does give me more clarity of thinking… I was hooked.
Playlist for Life
I trained as a musician – from picking up the recorder at a young age, starting the piano at 7 and then adding in trumpet aged 11, musicianship came pretty easily to me (not Grade 5 Theory but that’s another story about learning styles and being a teenager). I was fortunate to live just around the corner from our local music school, attend both primary and secondary schools that really saw the value of teaching music within the curriculum and have parents who ferried me to and from lessons, rehearsals and concerts week in, week out.
I completed my Bachelor of Music degree at Hull University in 1996 – specialising in musicology (the analysis and transcription of old music manuscripts into music that can be played now – essentially detective work) and performance. We were taught to listen intently – rarely to the tune; to decode, understand structure and analyse form – skills that I use every day when building websites now. In terms of music history, the bit I found most fascinaing was the way that music had developed during the Industrial Revolution in Britain – something that linked to my love and involvement in brass bands and local communities. Reflecting on it, these are all skills and values that are an intrinsic part of my life now.
Using music to get into a different zone or space
What you listen to is deeply personal. We talked in the Instagram Live about the number of beats per minute that the music you choose to listen to has – and how it might affect your ability to get into a different zone or space – whether that’s to work, exercise to, chill out, improve your productivity or use with another habit to make it even more beneficial.
Whilst the suggestions made over on The 52 Project website are more contemporary, here are some suggestions from my musical education that you can ask your friendly smart speaker to play – to see if they’re the sort of thing that help you get into the zone that you want to be in:
The Instagram Live
We’d love you to contribute to The 52 Project playlist (and see all the other tips) at www.the52project.com