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Q3 Education Re-cap: Team Teaching with Music


As part of the Quarterly Workshop program we are committed to developing education sessions applicable to all programs. Dubbed the “Instructor Greatness” Education series, in Q3 we explored Team Teaching with Music. In case you missed it, or just need a refresher here is an excerpt:

During a track there are optimal times to deliver coaching cues and optimal times to allow the music to shine. In this education session we specifically focus on how and when to use the music to create “fitness magic” or those goose-bump moments (you know the ones!).

The Science

In 2011, Neuroscientists from McGill University in Montreal published research that showed there is a direct link between the elation stimulated by music and the neurotransmitter dopamine. When listening to music and experiencing the natural highs and lows and anticipating the changes of musical energy and intensity, the regions of the brain involved in prediction and action are stimulated – this creates the production of dopamine which then triggers a reaction in the ventral striatum, connected to our limbic system – our emotional centre of the brain. The dopamine in the ventral striatum causes a release of pure emotion.


This dopamine-induced anticipation and release creates an emotional response, and is part of the reason people love exercising to music – as instructors, we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to allow our participants to fully experience this great reaction. This means we’re not talking over the music and we’ve said what we need to early enough so the music can feature at the right time.

But when?

To achieve musical greatness, spend time simply listening to each track (a lot - in the car, shower, in your sleep...) so you can understand the musical journey and connect with all the emotions the song makes you feel. Use your voice to match the musical builds, match your coaching to the rhythm of the music, use the lyrics and also silence to bring out the best in the music. Use your face and body deliberately to show your own musical interpretation and emotional connection to the music. Try this 5-step process to master the music:

1.Listen to your music. A lot!

2.Map the track (noting the highs and the lows of the structure of the track, it should look like an ECG graph).

3.Listen again, paying attention to how the music is making you feel. 

4.Write down the emotions (noting that there are more emotions in music than just happy!). 

5.Write down how you will achieve musical greatness using the Organising Musical Moments worksheet.

Here are examples of musical DO’s 

This process should proceed learning choreography, practicing technique and scripting coaching.

We look forward to seeing you in the Q4 Instructor Greatness Education series (Q4 dates: 4 & 5 November and 11 & 12 November).