Music that Binds: Team Music

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Home > Articles > Music that Binds: Team Music

 Music that Binds: Team Music

Bertrand Leong | Today's Manager
March 1, 2018

With its brand of teambuilding, Team Music injects a newfound appreciation for organisational values through music-making.

Founder and Corporate Band Coach of Team Music, Mr Daniel Kan firmly believes that beginners with no prior musical knowledge can play music so long as they enjoy it and use it for a greater purpose or goal like personal development, family bonding, or church worship.

Co-founding Believer Music back in 2000, Mr Kan left it in 2009 to enter a different industry only to then return in 2012 with Kingdom Music which focusses on training church worship musicians. Since then, he has trained beginners to band together to perform in kindergarten year-end concerts, dinner and dance functions, birthdays, churches, and wedding parties. He enjoys this approach (a form of music training he calls “band coaching”) because it rallies people around a common goal, while fostering a mutual appreciation for each other’s strengths and contributions.

Music as a Team Building Tool
However, the weekend and night classes teaching 60 students meant that he had to accommodate his students’ after-work schedules—leaving him with little time for his family. A friend in the corporate team building industry hinted that the industry was always looking for the next big idea and since music was his natural talent, Mr Kan found a way to blend music with teambuilding and make it work.

“I needed more family time and regular working hours,” says the father of three. “So I cold-called teambuilding companies to give me a try in upcoming events with their clients. My partnership with these companies in 2013 went well but I was dissatisfied with the music quality which was compromised in the process. I knew we had to be true to our clients and the music. This was why I decided to officially register Team Music Pte Ltd in 2014.” Team Music, which focusses on training corporate bands was launched by using a distilled version of band coaching which he called BANDINC.

Overcoming Challenges and Lessons Learnt
“The first challenge was visibility,” says Mr Kan. “Nobody had heard about us. And those to whom we pitched the idea to, did not believe in us to take us on. We gained more trust and traction in the second year onwards (2015–2016) when we were finally listed on prominent event blogs.”

Another challenge was finding genuinely teachable, talented, committed, and humble musician-coaches who were willing to affirm, teach, and connect with beginners to play well. “My life’s mission is about helping people. Naturally, I sought individuals who were keen on helping others. We eventually found a number of young musicians and their friends at *SCAPE, our new ‘home’ at the start of 2017 and have been on the lookout for more suitable coaching talents ever since.”

BANDINC and MTVINC
Team Music parallels the human relational dynamics of playing in a band with human institutions/organisations through its two programmes: BANDINC and MTVINC. BANDINC gives people the confidence to play music and relieves work stress through a fun experience which builds camaraderie. MTVINC comprises musical elements such as song rewriting and voice recording. The highlight however, is in the short movie-making process. Through each programme, participants laugh together, get to see a lighter side of their colleagues and friends, and receive a newfound appreciation for values like:

  • Clarity. Clear goals outlined help reinforce the need for clear roles in an organisation,
  • Collaboration. Listening to one another and working as one,
  • Commitment. Finishing what was started, and
  • Change Management. Being resilient and adaptive to change despite the many disruptions.

Many organisations come back testifying to the positive impact that Team Music has had on their operations and team work. “It is that ‘high’ feeling that lingers on for days. Organisers attest to a greater cohesion at the workplace as they now have a powerful shared experience to remember,” says Mr Kan.

In fact, Mr Kan recounts two memorable sessions which had left an indelible mark on him as well. The first was when he conducted a BANDINC experience for 350 pax. “We had them play a well-known mandarin song which had meaningful lyrics that everyone could identify with. The BANDINC programme was held right after their formal work meeting and we were glad to see everyone relax and bond meaningfully. The second was training a group of 100 salespeople to play two songs that they eventually performed as an opening act for their sales awards ceremony. The chance to learn and perform music in just a few days was a dream come true for many of them.”

Mr Kan professes that he is a typical right-brained artiste who likes to push the limits of creativity. He shares: “I’m a musician; I prefer working on the syllabus, and supervising coaches and students to the business and financial side of matters. However, managing Team Music taught me proper cash flow, staff management, and equipped me with a global mindset since we have had several requests to set up operations in other countries such as Hong Kong and Sydney. We have started out in Hong Kong and hope to explore opportunities in Sydney and Shanghai by the end of 2018.”

IMAGE: 123RF

Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 1, 2018

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