During our martial arts classes – whether it’s Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan, Demo Team, First Saturday, or any of our other special offerings, we tend to play a little bit of relevant workout music in the background.
It’s not really a unique situation. Many different group class settings play music in the background. Think about aerobics, kick-boxing, yoga and other classes.
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.
How does Workout Music 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.
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.
- 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.
Sifu’s Reasons for Workout Music
- 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 a kind of living document; 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.
Workout Music Criteria
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.
- 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 Cantonese!