During our martial arts classes – whether it’s Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan, Demo Team, First Saturday, Night of Fight Science, or any of our other special offerings, we tend to play a little bit of music in the background.
"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning." – Plato
Why? Well the short answer is that it is for me: the ShiFu of the class. Yep. I need a lil music to help me get through the day.
But there also lay other, less-selfish reasons.
Why listening to various types of Workout Music can Help
Music has therapeutic value. The right kind of music soothes our frazzled nerves. Some of that effect comes from the music’s rhythm. Biologically we are rhythmic creatures with all sorts of rhythms: heart and breathing rates, hormone cycles, sleep cycles, mental alertness cycles, and so on. Other musical benefits are emotional, for reasons that are sometimes hard to explain. – Why Music Matters (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201701/why-music-matters)
Music adds Spice to Life. (Do Life. Do Kung Fu!) And in this vein, too, Kung Fu.
It gets you in the mood. Sets the vibe. Brings a little bit of juice to the table. Sometimes, when you’re working out and you get tuckered out, just plain tired, you need a little boost; a second wind, so to speak. You couldn’t even think about doing another rep. And then that song comes on. It’s pumping and catchy. And it moves you. To do one more rep. Or two.
From "7 Reasons You Should Listen To Music When You Work Out" (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/why-exercise-workout-music-playlist_n_4173931.html) "Listening to music when you hit the gym to improve your workout isn’t exactly a new concept."
(I deleted the seventh one, as it seems it might be leading us to some sort of Advertisment.)
- Music is the good kind of distraction.
- It ups your effort.
- Music puts you in the zone.
- A good beat can help you keep pace.
- Music can elevate your mood.
- It makes you want to move.
My personal reasons for playlists
- Inspire students
- I like music
- Expose younger generations to classics
- Let those who need to know…Know they are not alone
- Everybody else is doing it
- And probably a lot of other reasons that I can’t think of right now
Music Genres in our Workout Music playlists
Country? Classical? Just what type of music are we mixing in here to our Spotify playlists?
- Rock n Roll
- Classic Rock
- HK English pop
- Taiwanese Pop
- S / Sing-Pop
- …And many others…
These workout or martial arts music playlists or whatever you want to call them, are kinda living documents; you, the public, has access to them. And of course, moreso, my students do. They have the ability to suggest songs, to say "hey! this song has curse words!" or perhaps they found a tone in the lyrics to be offensive in some way. This is rather key, for me to be able to adapt and adjust. But I don’t simply accept all song suggestions.
What criteria, then, do I use, or what am I considering, when selecting to include or not a song into our playlists?
Obviously, the Tai Chi music will be New Age-y, and great for Tai Chi, Yoga, Qigong (or Chi Kung), massage therapists, and more.
Conversely, the external playlist will more geared towards faster tempos, lyrics that inspire or touch the heart and more.
- No songs with "Explicit" rating. In my personal listening, I can deal with cursing. Sometimes it expresses emotion just right. But do I want my youngsters hearing this? No.
- Does the sound or tempo of a song accurately reflect the vibe we are trying to cultivate for this class?
- Do the lyrics of this workout song have a bit of depth? Especially for the class we’re referring to?
- Oh goodness! Is it in Mandarin or Cantonese and at least satisfy one of the above requirements? That might be nice; especially since we are studying Mandarin and Cantoese!
- Okay, you caught me. I might have snuck a bit of K-Pop and J-Pop in there a bit 😛 Why? I think you know.
Work Out Music Playlists – Now What?
Enough of that.
Let’s get into the Tunes, shall we?