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Monday, May 7, 2012

তাক ধুম তাক ধুম বাজাও বাংলাদেশের ঢোল !

I had the great privilege of taking part in the recent Liveperson Aspire 2012 conference held in Vinopolis near London Bridge in London. In the agenda there was a music session in the end which didn’t leave much for imagination at first as I was thinking that this must be some sort of a live performance of some sort. From all my previous experiences of attending training sessions in Bangladesh and even in the UK – usually anything to do with music always ended up someone or some group of musicians performing live music, song etc. while the crowd mingled around. Sometimes they ended up taking group photos , dinner or heading straight to pub (in UK).

What I experienced in this conference completely took me by surprise and I was left amused by the innovation in the way they linked music with team building and to rejuvenate participants after a long day of seminars and workshops. When we returned to the main hall in the concluding session we found hand drums neatly kept under our tables with multi-coloured sticks on the tables. Four African guys took the stage while playing their Afro-beats and the audience figuring out what was going on. They went from one beat to another varying their tempo, while one of them started signalling us to take up our individual instruments and join in the fun. We removed our rings and wrist-watches from our hands and started beating the drum in unison with the four drummers. After a while they asked us to take up the sticks in our hands and instructed those who had sticks of a certain colour to play a certain rhythm. So while say those who got drum sticks of red colour kept playing their assigned beat, another group who got sticks of green colour were instructed to play another beat. We realised that there were sticks of seven colours actually capable of generating seven basic notes of music. So when all the seven groups started playing their specific rhythm it turned out to an amazing music so nice, so upbeat and so synchronized. We were left excited having discovered that we were actually part of a massive orchestra of around 150 people present at the same time and it was surreal.

After a serious drumming session of around 45 minutes, the folks from Drum Café described how different teams joined hands in creating a perfect rhythm, how all those carrying sticks of a certain colour felt so much in sync as they were playing the same beat – pretty much how members work in a team and when multiple teams work together towards a common goal – in this case ‘music’. And true that our hands were sore with beating a drum with bare hands and then with the stick on the palm, all this could be symbolised to the hard work and pain that an individual puts in a team as his/her role. It was great to realize how music, rhythm and beats can lift up the mood and how de-stressed one can feel after having created the sounds off the drum together.

I don’t have exact information on the market size of the training industry in Bangladesh, but I can imagine that with the population we have and the growth we are getting into, training companies are mushrooming with providing services from teaching English to corporate team building sessions all year round. We still haven’t been able to link the music heritage we have in Bangladesh to how it can be actually used in the business context to build teams, motivate and enlighten team members and all those involved in producing one company vision. I hope training gurus in Bangladesh take note of Drum Café and think of improvising it in the context of our rich folk heritage to have differentiation and impact in the team building events for our businesses.

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