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Choosing and Using Music in Training reviewed


Title: Choosing and Using Music in Training
Authors: Liz Brant and Tony Harvey
Publisher: Gower
Date: 2001
Format: Hardback plus music CD, 58 pages
ISBN: 0 566 08426 0
Price: £39.95

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Trainers have used music on their training courses for many years, usually as background at different times during the course. This book takes this use several steps forward and offers guidance and information relating to a more effective use of music on courses. It is a small book that can easily be slipped in the pocket, but offers a wealth of advice.

14 short sections or chapters contain the text of the book, plus a CD containing representative music. The chapters cover the background to music; the theory behind the effects of music; music to changes to physiology; the brain; types of music for use; how music affects us – such factors as speed, rhythm, familiarity, etc; the use of music by trainers – welcoming atmosphere, helping creativity, energizing, encouraging reflection, sending everyone off on a positive note; silence; equipment; frequently asked questions; and the CD playlist.

One very important section concerns a subject that is being constantly raised by trainers who want to use media recordings in their organization and public courses – legality and licensing. This section gives clear advice supported by the addresses where licenses can be obtained.
I said ‘short’ and certainly some of these are just that – the silence section consists of 4 lines on the page and many of the sections range from 1 to four pages.

The CD contains 20 music tracks, giving almost 75 minutes of music ranging from the andante movement of Mozart’s ‘Piano Concerto No 21’ through the Chieftains with ‘The March of Brian Boru’, to ‘Liberty Bell’ the theme tune from Monty Python. One of the book sections lists these tracks with timings and recommendations for use in welcoming, creativity, energizing, reflecting or departing.

If you have not used music in your training previously, this book should at the least encourage you to experiment with it, supporting your experiments by giving you the background all the way through. Well worth considering.

Reviewed by Leslie Rae.

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