Music, whole systems, whole self LO11683

Debbie Broome (
Mon, 06 Jan 1997 08:50:44 -0600

Replying to LO11653 --

Replying to those who have written about the relationship between music
and learning organizations:

I have played one or more musical instruments since I was seven years old.
My original career goal was to become a high school Band Director and as
such, spent a good part of my time in college as a music major.

The point that strikes me most closely about the relationship between
music and learning organizations is the concept of practice. As a
musician, you practice your part alone and you practice your part together
with other members of the orchestra (choir, ensemble, etc.). As you
practice together and notes flow, you see where your part fits in with
others, you adjust your intonation, your volume in order to produce a
beautiful sound. I can recall a time early in my college years during
orchestra practice where we were continually rehersing a difficult portion
of a piece. After spending almost an entire hour on one passage, it
finally came together and I remember the feeling of awe I had deep inside
that I was a part of producing this incredible sound. I was observing and
doing at the same time.

I've never had that kind of experience creating in an organization. It
seems to me that part of what's missing in "learning organizations" is the
process of rehersal and the practice. I cannot speak for all
organizations, but those that I have been in are far too bottom-line
oriented to spend time on rehersing and practicing their craft. Has
anyone experienced a work situation where practicing is an integral part
of the organization's values. In my world (local government) our police
and firefighters are the only employees that regularly "practice." It's
called training.


Debbie Broome <>

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