Playing the music at yer workplace

Playing the music at yer workplace

This might be a bit too specific, but let’s give it a throw anyway.

In many workplaces pop radio is allowed - in my experience this can be building sites, research and medical labs, even dentists surgeries. Of course we sensitive souls can only hack so much of Britney or Whitney, especially when you hear their latest single for the 12th time in the day. So you negotiate to have a small oasis (no pun intended) of your own music played on for a couple of tracks. I’m fortunate now that I have my own labs so I can listen to what I want - ie wall to wall trad….or if I ‘m at my desk similar (through headphones.)
But if anyone has experienced this thing where you’ve been "let" play your music on unsuspecting souls at a workplace - how did it go down?
As for me - very mixed reactions. Usually I’m too polite to inflict my t’ing on others, unless asked, or encouraged. If this becomes a lively enough discussion I’ll describe.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I find that people are usually welcoming to new kinds of music. Most people that I know that haven’t ever heard trad actually end up liking it a lot more than I would have thought.

Here’s my story…

Where I go to university, the group that I am usually with listens to 1 of 3 things in the labs that we work: Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan. Now I didn’t used to mind a little bit of those guys here or there but now I simply can’t stand them. I’ve had to take all of the Zepplin off of my play list at home because I’ve heard them way too much.

One day all of those guys were on a field trip. Another friend, who also wanted a change of music, teamed up with me and we concocted an iTunes playlist for the day. Naturally, I put in some trad and newfie stuff while he put in some Cannibal Corpse and other death metal that he usually listens to. It was an interesting mix. Although I’m sure we could’ve played anything and it would have been better than the same old stuff we’d been hearing all year.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I have my own office, and can play my own music. It almost makes up for working in a windowless basement office!

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I have my own office and the CD’s go in the player first thing in the morning. It’s not loud, but others can hear it as they come in and out of here. I live in Savannah so a lot of people know what it is. Still get questions from some people. I’ve never gotten a negative comment. It’s my background music for the day. Beats packaged, over-marketed radio crap.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

"I have my own office, and can play my own music. It almost makes up for working in a windowless basement office!"

You need some scary dungeon music. Maybe some pipe organ.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I guess I’m lucky to be working in a small architectural office and sharing a room with a co-worker who plays banjo and loves bluegrass and old-timey. We end up splitting the day in half — bluegrass in the morning and irish in the afternoon. He doesn’t complain, and outside of the occassional irish music joke, even seems to enjoys it. If only he stopped insisting that irish tunes played on the banjo would sound better in scruggs style…

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I often take my fiddle or banjo to school and play in the hallways at lunch. The teachers love it and open their doors so they can hear, but the other students absolutely hate it. Last week someone actually dumped a bottle of water on me… Seriously! They could have asked me to stop first! And I even had a mute on at the time so they could hardly hear it! I really don’t understand how they can blast the racket that they listen to loud enough to blow the speakers in their cars, but a fiddle with a heavy practice mute on being played 100 ft away is somehow obnoxious….

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I generally don’t like to listen to music while I’m working, unless it’s non-mental work, like washing dishes. If it’s music I don’t like, that’s obviously annoying. If it’s music I do like, I have to give it most of my attention and savor the details.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

When I was a junior house dog, or house plant, depending upon what euphamism for a junior house officer (doctor) you want to use, I did several weeks of nights in which I wouldn’t sleep because of how unprepared it makes you when someone becomes suddenly unwell / tries to die. Staying awake gave me the perfect opportunity to practice, I played in a little room just off the ward. I became infamous amongst colleagues in the hospital for it, and the consultants, judging by their mystified looks, couldn’t understand why I always left night shift with a fiddle case on my back. There was many patients who heard me, and the nurses seemed to like it too.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Oh, if you’re talking about listening to music while at work, I put switch the iPOD onto Bach’s Goldberg variations. Seems to be the perfect concentration inducer.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I like to play the trad for my 6th graders at school, and most of them enjoy the experience.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

fiddlekit: i had the same reactions in high school to my flute and whistle. a lot of people enjoyed it, but many would yell at me and get violent. no one seemed to mind the concertina, but i only brought it in once. i still get people in random public places, now that i am in high school, come up to me and ask me if i was the person that played the flute, and tell me that they enjoyed it. its easy to forget that people do enjoy it, when the morons are the most vocal!

that always got to me the most, that people would get angry and violent before asking me to stop. if i was asked nicely, i stopped, but if i was not asked nicely, i would continue until they made fools of themselves.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

At my school, almost no one has ever heard or seen tinwhistles before so everyone is fasinated by it and want to know what it is. The few that reconize it request "Concerning Hobbits" from The Lord of the Rings.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

well i’m a student, so i don’t ‘work’ as such. i would love to have the music playing in the background as i learn canine anatomy, but i always find my mind drifting away from the books and back to the music, so i have to study in silence : (

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I always have my ukelele banjo to hand at work for when things get dull - Dave the cleaner is especially appreciative when he comes in. I also have a room full of servers and stuff, airconditioned, where no-one else except an equally eccentric colleague hangs out, and that’s great for harmonica practice. I usually have a spare fiddle to hand, for practice sessions lunchtime with another resident fiddler (in a store cupboard!) There was also a banjo player but she has left, but we still meet up for tunes.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

When I had a "proper job", in what flisstle would call "The Mcfadean Wing", I regularly took in instruments to practise on in the lunchhour, the guitar was ok for the tea-room but the concertina I would take elsewhere. Most people didn’t complain, but would sometimes compliment me on my improving.
I also once played a trick on a colleague, who always arrived early in the morning to start, and first thing would turn on the radio/cassette-player from the wall mains switch. I set up a cassette of Scottish dance music recorded off the radio and left it in set to go - it took her about half an hour to realise that there wasn’t just a programme change !

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Thanks for the replies, folks. Just to remind ye’s what my initial question was, although feel free to hijack at will, I don’t care. I was asking what was the response of your colleagues to you playing CDs and tapes of trad music at a work place or other communal location.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Actually, the replies were so close to the original topic, I didn’t even realize that the thread was hijacked until you pointed it out!
;-0

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I teach high school. I sometimes play trad CD’s before school, during planning, or after school. Most of the students who come in early don’t seem to mind. I thank god that I don;t have to share radio space with anyone else.

I usually play a few tunes on my flute once or twice a year. Some of the students enjoy it, others manage to stay polite for a few tunes and then start gabbing w/each other.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Al!

Pay attention!

:~}

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Playing this music at my work would be tantamount to career suicide. I work in an ad agency where commercial music is worshipped. American Idol-style pop is quite fine. Shimmery soundtrack or mild acoustic country better still. Play house, acid, or trip hop and you’re the whip. Isn’t it ironic that extreme trendiness is a kind of hyper-conformity?

The most I do is download a midi of a tune I’m trying to learn and loop it quietly on my desktop, to try and drill it into my head. That way it’s innocuous enough and folks don’t get too weirded out by it.

Sidebar: I don’t buy the “don’t listen to midis” argument. It’s like sheet music. I understand it’s just a sketch of the tune and I think I’m capable (well, to the best of my ability) to interpret it appropriately when I put it under the bow. Of course I listen to recordings of actual performers a lot, too. Outside of work, almost exclusively.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

About three years ago, I made the transition from mostly all-jazz all-the-time in my lab to all-trad all-the-time… from those who entered, the rolled eyes and off-the-cuff comments changed only enough to imply that I’m still a musical eccentric (elitist) or, if you will, I’m disinclined to gag back mass-marketed musical pablum. The result is the same - the musical math entering my ears still can distract me from the daily grind. Hoorah! And maybe I’ve helped warp the tiny little minds of others, as well.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

The Celtic station on XM is nice despite the occasional Highland Warpipe carrying on’s..

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I meant to say before - Pete - that’s a cracker, with the lady switching the cassette player on at the wall. Maybe you should have put on Orson Wells’s "The War of the Worlds" soundtrack. Nah, it sounds just good the way you did it.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

i was thinking of doing a podcast once a week; I have a good collection(300+ good quality trad cd’s)and i do a local trad radio show, but was wondering if there woulld be any demand for it?

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I teach in a primary school here in England and having bought a practice set of uilleann pipes, I was asked to play them in Assembly. So I took them in and fair play to the kids, they gave me a round of applause for every squeek and squeel I got out of them. I promised I’d bring them back in when I can play a tune or two. I have a few basic tunes now but I’m still sounding rather sh*te and have as yet, not taken them back in. Maybe on the last day of term eh.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I used to work at a kinkos. When St. Paddy’s day approached, the corporate cable radio setup offered irish music. Of course i tuned in the entire time it was there. Customers said they loved it, my friends tolerated it, and non-friends hated it after 10 minutes (which increased my enjoyment!).

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

I teach in Middle School. Some students of mine who are heavily into ‘rap’ downloaded seven rap rhythmes onto my laptop one day so they could listen to them in class (I actually don’t mind a bit of music as long as they know what they are doing and everyone is working). I upped the tempo and put some of my tunes to them. Considering they are really cool kids, like really cool, they reacted fantastically well when I played them one of the tracks I made with their rhythmes - that is considering it was their lunchtime.

I’ve been caught a couple of times when I’ve been in school over the weekends (usually alone) catching up on stuff with the traditional music blaring. One weekend when I got caught by the maths teacher as I was prancing round the big classroom and lilting to Major Harrison’s Fedora, the conversation went something like:
"That’s the kind of music I like to play."
"?? Hmmmmmmmm You can borrow my speakers and I’ll shut my door."

Errata

as long as they know what they are supposed to be doing

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

In my middle school classroom the rule is "My music or no music." I’m quite the tyrant. They are totally under my control!!!!!!
WAH HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

I used to get a lot of bellyaching about the music I play until I encorporated that rule. But I vary it. sometimes trad, sometimes bluegrass, sometimes celtic (we are in California, mind), sometimes "world beat". I find that trad is especially good if they are supposed to be up moving around. It gets them on their feet. Slow aires and waltzes are great for test days. It helps them ignore the ticking of the clock. Studies show that music without words (or words you can understand) at 60 beats per minute actually boosts your immune system helping you to heal. It helps you to relax and think.

By summer, I always have a que of kids lined up asking me to make them a mix of what they heard all year. Yes, sometimes you have to force something on them, but otherwise they would have no excuse to hear something outside of what they get from their friends. And it makes me happy. A happy teacher is a better teacher.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Well, I have my own office too so play cd’s all day. However I also leave the door open in the vain and hopeless belief that others will eventually come to like tunes, and ITM will take off as something all the workers will unite behind in their struggle against the rich and gutless blatherskites in power. Oh Yeah and poverty will disappear too. Actually at the last workplace meeting my playing of tunes at work was raised as an Occupational Health and Safety Issue! Cheeky bastards.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

a call center is an interesting place to work, they are often filled with unemployed opera singers, pianists, band members, students and singers. Drinkies after work is an interesting experience. It wasnt uncommon for instrument to come to work and be played during quiet periods.

Posted by .

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

Hey Kiwi, I caught an episode of Neighbours once, so am now an expert on the Australian accent - so shouldn’t your last comment have read like this: "Cheeky Baastards" - a double a, with, of course, a rising inflection towards the end of the 2nd word? 😀

At home in Scotland now, that single a would actually be only half an a! 🙂

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

GO FIDDLEKIT!!!!!!! I’m in high school and i bring my whistle sometimes and people get p*ssed off at me when i play it.- never had anyone dump water on me, though.

Re: Playing the music at yer workplace

The place i work at has a cornicopia of music playing, some like it others stay away. No takers who want to join in on the theme though.
Bob