#coachlearning: when Thomas meets Adam and friends

I tend to listen to classical music whenever I am travelling. I feel really comfortable with that kind of music.

Over the years I have thought about the connections that might be made in coach learning with composers, conductors and musicians.

There are lots of posts on Clyde Street about my imagined connections between classical music and coaching. Last year, for example, motets struck me as a way to discuss coaching. I included this quote about the Thomas Tallis Spem in Alium (written for 40 voices):

The work is a study in contrasts: the individual voices sing and are silent in turns, sometimes alone, sometimes in choirs, sometimes calling and answering, sometimes all together, so that, far from being a monotonous mess, the work is continually presenting new ideas.

I particularly like the idea of performance “presenting new ideas”. In this example, the motet is sung by 700 rather than 40 voices, and raised for me the idea about the scalability of performance:

Occasionally, I break away from classical musical and end up meeting other musicians like the Pierce Brothers and Tash Sultana. They helped me think about performances of understanding.

This week, I discovered, Adam Levine and Maroon 5.

I have had the good fortune to work with many female athletes and coaches of female athletes. When I saw Maroon 5’s Girls Like You video, I immediately thought about how a coach might support the diversity of talents and life experiences in a team.

The video is 4 minutes 30 seconds long and has a remarkable cast. I have replayed the video many times now and it is strikes me forcefully what we might learn from it to support coaches as they explore their practice and their performances.

If you would like to learn more about the people who appeared in the video, you might find this Billboard article of interest (link).

I am delighted Thomas has met Adam via a short detour with the Pierce Brothers and Tash. I think we have lots to learn within sport from outside experiences of performance and how we might enable a commonwealth of talent.

#coachlearninginsport: hearing motets

I am in England at the moment.

I am here for a month meeting twenty-four rugby union and cricket coaches with whom I have been in critical friend conversations for four years.

Whilst I have been travelling, I have been listening to Radio 3 and Classic FM. If I am very fortunate I hear Philip Glass but he is not often played.

Yesterday, on a journey to Durham, my drive on the A1(M) was uplifted by a recording of Thomas Tallis’s Spem in alium.

Spem in alium is a motet for eight choirs of five voices. I find it a most exquisite piece of music. Wikipedia says of it “its individual vocal lines act quite freely within its elegant harmonic framework”.

It struck me forcefully, on a rather beautiful morning near Wetherby, that I have the immense privilege of hearing twenty-four voices. Two sports, twenty-four learning journeys … that share a harmony.

What is fascinating to me about being part of a four-year journey is that I can hear changes in the voices. Each coach’s journey from good to great has been made possible by their willingness to reflect and consider meta-issues around coaching. They are profoundly engaged in their own and others’ coaching processes.

As when I hear Thomas Tallis’s motet, I am stunned by the depth of insight each coach brings to his and her coaching. This Wikipedia piece could have been written about the coaches:

The work is a study in contrasts: the individual voices sing and are silent in turns, sometimes alone, sometimes in choirs, sometimes calling and answering, sometimes all together, so that, far from being a monotonous mess, the work is continually presenting new ideas.

Imagine having that as a #coachlearninginsport opportunity.

I do think it is scalable.

700 voices for 40 as an example …

#relearn motets: sharing voices

Spem

I saw Alex’s tweet about #relearn 2

… and thought about how we connect very many voices in a cooperative adventure. Perhaps we can learn from music for these narratives.

I think motets might help us.

Which took me to my CD of the Tallis Scholars and their rendition of Spem im Alium.

There is a YouTube version (9 minutes 40 seconds) for 40 voices:

This what it sounds like with 700 voices (11 minutes 33 seconds).

A flash mob rendition (9 minutes)

The Tallis motet was composed in the sixteenth century.

I liked this part of the Wikipedia account:

The work is a study in contrasts: the individual voices sing and are silent in turns, sometimes alone, sometimes in choirs, sometimes calling and answering, sometimes all together, so that, far from being a monotonous mess, the work is continually presenting new ideas.

This to me seems to be the essence of the #relearn conversations and the narratives (oral and written) that are emerging. I like the inclusive potential of these narratives: a choir of 40, a choir of 700; and a flash mob all seem great ways to share.