A definition from Wikipedia of musicality is this: Musicality (music-al-ity) is “sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music” or “the quality or state of being musical”, and is used to refer to specific if vaguely defined qualities in pieces and/or genres of music, such as melodiousness and harmoniousness.
And something happens to us with that musicality when we’re in the presence of great wisdom, supportive gestures and unconditional respect.
Inspiring of word, sincere of act, kind of intention are the sensitivities to create that harmony and melody.
I had that today (10.10.2019) for 30 of the most magical minutes. Incomparable to any other 30 minutes. Not better, or best, just magical. Musical actually. Dawna Jones and Paul Tolchinsky were my musical co-creators. I still feel in awe and appreciative for the experience of these 2 wonderful people.
It was a symphony of thought. #Musicality
During that conversation, I had some incredibly ‘presencing’ moments (which may seem like a distraction but believe me, they were not — they were part of my thought and reasoning process).
The flashback to a messaging exchange that same day, with a young woman who is stepping boldly into an entrepreneurial space; who randomly connected with me and we instantly forged some kind of spirited alliance.
The female tech entrepreneur who had the committed urge to invite me to help her idea fly.
The #TeamPTHR colleague who is juggling new motherhood and some ultra-flexible working to support our cause.
The very soulful woman who has accepted my invitation to be my coach.
The longest-lasting friend I have in the world, and she’s been in and around my life for almost 40 years.
The sincere friend I met on social media and in-person 7.5 years ago and unlike others, has stuck with me and me her, who just put out a 200 character killer pearl of wisdom after an emotional day at work frustrated by the ‘system’ that can f*** up people’s work in health & social care.
The polite, homeless and clearly struggling man who accepted my tiny cash donation which prompted a fellow rail passenger to go and buy him a coffee.
And of course, Dawna and Paul — the two wise, warm and wonderous souls who shared a webchat with me today. And the two kind and committed hosts (Emanuele Rapisarda and Giusy Fratta) who are enthusiastic supporters of my thoughts and work, as I am theirs.
People like this were part of the musicality of my day.
And we all have them (people as part of your day), but do we notice them, appreciate them? Or do we only hear the booming of the big boss drum and the crashing of the cymbals of demand?
My amazing new coach (Laura) invited me to consider journaling. As a way of dealing with some tricky emotional stuff that had I taken far too much to heart and couldn’t push away. Which I have done, but I haven’t exactly done it how some folks would journal. For a start, there’s no pen or paper involved — which kind of negates the entire phrase.
I’ve been journalling of thought. And what I’ve found is, that the thoughts connect. There’s a causal trail of whether I’ve had a really vibrant day or an utterly bewildering one.
When it’s a vibrant day, my ‘thought journaling’ links and creates what I can only describe as a symphonic sensation. A musicality of process. Not a recollection of things to note down: More like listening to a Holst, Vivaldi or Gershwin piece of music.
I’ve not had a ‘bad’ day since this happened. Coincidence? Maybe. And those people who had caused me some emotional/psychological anguish are gone.
I am definitely seeing that musicality to things since this revelation, and that’s not been the case for a few years now. My history of writing posts on here will testify to that. I’ve not had a complete musical block or meltdown, but I’ve had interference.
- People who’ve chosen to be critical of me/my work, call me out or cut me off.
- People who’ve decided I’m something I’m not, but to them, I am.
- People who believe that I’m not worthy of some recognition stuff
<when I’ve not ordained any of that on myself or been boastful about it>.
This experience — since about 2013 really — has been a pretty off-key aspect to my musicality. Thankfully, I’ve analysed (a lot) and internalised (a lot) and moved myself and my work, my thoughts and my deeds away from such toxicity. Their ‘jarring of notes’ definitely interrupted my musicality of life.
What my recent revelation has instantly taught me is that it is all about musicality (well the word vibrations was used) and that people have sometimes conflicting vibrations (or musicality) and therefore there is no rationale, logic or even psychological reasoning to find.
I’ve merely let people disrupt the rhythm of my life.
Now, I’m just focused on playing my type of jazz as the musicality of my life. My own, sometimes random, sometimes recognisable, symphonic jazz score.
And musicality and art came into my mind and the conversation with Dawna & Paul. As an example and as an experience. It was like one of us made a micro-choice to play a note and then one of the other two followed that — partly instinctively; partly thoughtfully — which enable the other to do the same. And so it continued. Jazz improv, inspiration and insightful note utilisation. Paul even called that out as his closing thought.
Leadership was the nature of our discussion and it got us into some interesting space about the space (not the role); the systems designer (not the systems administrator); and considerate decision crafter (not the by-the-numbers executor) <paraphrasing a lot here>.
Overall though I think it got us thinking about the musicality and flow of leadership not the acting and forging of leadership.
There’s an allegro tempo about performance. There’s a sonata that is innovation. There’s an adagio about thought and being mindful about decisions.
Speed, individuality, calm.
Music hasn’t just happened, music is human utilisation of what nature has provided. It just so happened that music (or song) also happened before institutionalisation and industrialisation. It was a binding force for us a LONG time ago before the spoken word, for sure. We’re attuned (!) for musicality.
So there’s rhythm in leading, there can be a musicality about the systems of work and there can be a symphony when they all come together with a connection to what’s right in a triple-bottom-line sense:
People; Planet; Profit.
Sonata; Minuet; Rondo.
But having melody is not an excuse to beat the drum of forced labour.
If you work the musicians so hard in playing a symphony, it won’t sound good at all. Strings will break, people will run out of energy. Sounds familiar? You bet. Modern work and life.
If you help people find the rhythm they love and lead them with considered channelled crafted musicality; then the symphony roars forward like a hopeful soundtrack for our spiritual, professional and personal flourishing.
We need more musicality in our lives.
The fabulous Dan Mocanu, in his TEDx talk from 2015 here talked about the classic composers being very much the reflection of what we’re seeing in digital technology of the 21st century.
For Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin — read Gates, Jobs, Page & Brin, Musk (of course benefiting from Lovelace, Turing and Babbage).
You may not agree about the artform, but seriously consider this: The music we know now, largely exists because of the classic composers' creation of the format and sheet music of the day plus the ability to teach others to play and score their own music as the ‘product’ of this revolution.
Sheet music=code; teaching others to write and play…digital/industry 4.0
So what’s the summation of all this or our rondo?
Well, I guess this: When we need more musicality in our life, we need to score the music. So we journal our day, mentally or on paper, and not just recording what you felt and did; noting who you impacted on and who impacted on you. Bring them to life as you would the music you play
That’s how we hit the notes that matter. That’s how we go ‘one-octave higher’ when we want to do our best work.
Musicality, melody, harmony. A past programme for a better future.