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Band on the Wall – all together now

Jonathan Schofield finds his soul on Swan Street

Written by . Published on February 2nd 2010.

Band on the Wall – all together now

I am not a team player. I can't stand joining in.

When I go to support United or Rochdale (my big and little teams) I like to give one brief, quietish 'yes' when my team scores. Sometimes if it's a close match I even stand up and applaud. But I never sing. I would find that a bit common. I am after all a middle-class Anglo-Saxon and such activities might involve me showing emotion.

That would never do.

So on being asked to display team spirit by joining a team building exercise at the Band on the Wall singing with my Confidential colleagues I experienced a deep sinking horror.

Normally during corporate events, my only reaction is to be a right bastard and hide my discomfort under childish sarcasm.

As the editor though I decided to try and restrain myself and be amenable. Lead from the front rather than skulk in the back.

The hapless Confidential crew along with me were Tamar, Helen, Julie, Tristan and Kelly. Gordo was going to come along but he had his mouth full of quail and couldn't move. That may have been a lie.

Fortunately we had a secret weapon in our chansoning mission. This was the Band on the Wall's (BoTW) Jools without whom we would have been like witless fools in a nuclear physics convention. Jools is an indefatigable underminer of disinterest and ambivalence. She is truly a trooper, a skillful manipulator of learning fun and getting people involved.

Yet to start even her talents looked as though they might falter. Our first attempts were so discordant apples fell off trees in Italy and a building in Ancoats collapsed.

At this point it was noted that Tristan was simply mouthing the words. Helen as the picture shows was avoiding the issue by shaking her arse. Kelly and Julie as another picture shows were also avoiding the issue by, a tad bizarrely, pretending to put up some washing. I'm shamed to say I was being childishly sarcastic. Tamar being very young and impressionable was just doing her best.

Jools was being helped out by the Learning Participation officer of BoTW, Tim, and the Development Manager of BOTW, Najia. They looked as though they needed industrial earplugs. Or to be somewhere else. Urgently.

Yet in truth, like Jools, they were endlessly encouraging and insanely convinced that we could refine our racket.

We tried again.

And again.


Jools had chosen the song 'I'll Fly Away.' It was beginning to sound like good advice.

But then epiphany, clouds of angels: we began to make a half decent noise.

You can listen to it on this page, you lucky readers. We've thinking of entering the next Eurovision.

To preview this mp3 you need flash, click here to install

Then it was over. All too soon our merry band of workers had to hush their melody making.

So did it change me, dear reader? Am I a man who can now easily show his emotions and let his guard down?

Am I f%@�.

But it was a laugh - especially at each other.

Memorable is the best adjective.

While singing with colleagues might not have changed me I recommend it heartily for a corporate break.

Band on the Wall’s new Learning and Participation Programme offers a range of inspiring and fun opportunities for non-formal learning. There are musical activities for everyone regardless of age, experience and ability. Sessions are perfect for corporate team building or as an entertaining activity among friends. Tutors are all experienced leaders in their field.

All bookings are bespoke to suit your needs and prices vary according to group size (minimum group size 4 people). For further details please contact Najia Bagi, Band on the Wall Development Manager, at najia@bandonthewall.org

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DescartesFebruary 2nd 2010.

I know that Tristan guy, he's got a great sounding voice, I really don't think he would've mimed.

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2010.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, but then this does look rather like fun.

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2010.

Surprisingly uplifting, that little tune, especially with the Rochdalian edge to it by Schofield.

GordoFebruary 2nd 2010.

(holding his head in shame)

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2010.

Jon you are right to feel embarrassed at the silly things my colleagues (yes it part of my professional repertoire) do on these courses. But there are much more real things that you can do which are testing and learning. One I have done is sailing a yacht, another is taking an acting course. But you need to reflect on what happens to you and the crew/cast as you work together and have some framework to give a perspective...and practice too.

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2010.

PS probably you are a right bastard Jon on these courses are very useful for the other participants as they learn to improve their corporate anti-bastard techniques. Anybody got any tips?

J E SibberingFebruary 2nd 2010.

What's with the 'uncomfortable right leg crossed over left' stance, in the pic of people surrounding man with lap top?

And nony mouse you obviously don't know JS. 'Jon' indeed, how familiar.

TeambuilderFebruary 3rd 2010.

Funny. But not sure I'd like to work with that Schofield

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