Music has always been a big part of my life and wellbeing. Like a lot of us, I love to sing-along in the car to work, testing my vocal range, my memory for lyrics and my ability to keep in time. From a young age my techy Dad had some serious speakers and we used to play those 70’s and 80’s tunes at top volume. Queen, Abba or Depeche Mode, I like my music loud!
‘Sabotage’ by The Beastie Boys is the perfect antidote after a difficult meeting. ‘Rockstar’ by Nickelback is a great tune for the rare morning that I’m not feeling like work, enabling me to arrive at school ready for anything. ‘I’m Not In Love’ by 10CC is a gentle sleepy lullaby. There are songs that I associate with members of my family, songs that I can link to memories of events in my life and music to wind down with. I love it all and my taste is very eclectic.
Very occasionally a song comes along that just makes my heart soar, hitting every wellbeing button there is. Alexa introduced me to ‘Bloom’ by The Paper Kites, after a vague request to play something relaxing, and it was love at first listen. I challenge anyone not to smile during the intro.
Music can help the School Business Leader at surprising times in their quest for personal wellbeing tools. One of our Assistant Heads included five song titles hidden in his newly written self-evaluation form (SEF) one year and I don’t mind admitting that his was the only SEF that I went through with a fine-tooth comb! Try it in one of your policy reviews for a bit of SLT fun.
Difficult though it is, I recently resolved to stop for half an hour each week and joined the Staff Choir. It’s amazing the stress release that comes from a few minutes belting out a show tune! It’s also a good way of getting to know colleagues with whom you might not usually have much interaction (except when they ask you how much is left in their budget).
Then there are the pupil events which are a must-do for the SBL wanting to be part of their school community. School Musicals, House Music, Concerts and Class Assemblies are all uplifting events that can fill you with pride and remind you why you are there. On the day of the opening night of our most recent whole school production, our leading actor had an unfortunate accident when his Dad ran over his foot. A risk assessment and a few minor adjustments to the props meant that the show could go on, although there were a lot of improvised jokes throughout the performances about the reason for the crutches!
The most fun has been a flash dance that we recently held in the school playground. The pupils could not believe it when all the staff started dancing the ‘Macarena’ at break time and we were all amazed at how quickly they joined in…and then groaned when the bell went.
I like to listen mindfully to music, being in the moment with it and singing or dancing along. I’m not a fan of the office radio and I find background music distracting, especially if I’m deep into numbers, but I know some do find it helps them concentrate. There is no doubt that using music in a way that feels right for you can significantly improve enjoyment in your job and your wellbeing.
I often ask myself, what would be the theme tune for the SBL?... For me it’s got to be Coldplay’s ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’.
What would your SBL theme tune be?
Other articles by Emma Gray that you might be interested in:
This article forms part of our Smarter SBM series, which supports the launch of our new Smart Ordering tools. Informed by, and created for SBMs, Smart Ordering is range of great online features and tools that can transform a school’s office with a smarter way of purchasing. It has been developed by the team at GLS Educational Supplies to help save schools money, by making the process of buying school supplies faster, smoother and more affordable. Find out more about how Smart Ordering can save your school time and money here.