Music plays a vital role during events, not only to entertain people during breaks:
- You can use music during exercises, and stop it when the time is over, so people will immediately understand that it’s time to come back to the session. Always choose a soundtrack that’s not too loud or noisy during the exercises.
- You can use music while waiting for people during a virtual session, with a message on the screen that says something like “session will start at … Music playing in background, if you cannot hear it, please leave a message in the chat”.
- You can use music to energize people during a long event, coupled with some physical activity.
- You can use music when you need to call people on stage, and they’re far and need some time to arrive.
- You can use music during quizzes, polls, and other activities.
Other uses of music during events can be found here.
Music during physical events
Always check for the ability to play music before including it in your session plan. Sometimes you only find VGA cables with no audio option or HDMI cables that are connected directly to a projector without the ability to play audio at all in the room.
If you need to play music and you’re not sure about the venue, you can take an amplified speaker with you; there are many Bluetooth models that run on battery and have enough power to be also used in rooms with tens of people.
Music in virtual sessions
If you plan to play music during a virtual session, always check for the option to stream computer audio from your favorite conferencing tool. Most of the time, that option is disabled by default.
Accessibility and inclusion
NEVER rely only on music to signal the beginning, or the end of an exercise, or other activities. Always use different channels to alert people, for example dimming the lights and/or changing the slide together with starting or stopping the music.
I’m not an expert in copyright laws, and you should also consider that all the different countries have different regulations regarding music playback during events, including virtual ones.
Always talk with an expert and be sure to have all the appropriate permissions, or you can use music that is licensed with a permissive license, as some of the Creative Commons.