Instinctively, you know music plays an important role in helping set the atmosphere at your facilities. But there is also scientific proof of this affect. The article “How Music Affects the Brain” by Deane Alban (Be Brain Fit, February 9, 2019), concludes, “And the evidence is in — music activates every known part of the brain. Listening to and playing music can make you smarter, happier, healthier and more productive at all stages of life.”
The article goes on to talk about how music stimulates dopamine levels in the brain, and listening to shuffled playlists can further increase dopamine levels, especially when a favorite song unexpectedly starts playing. It also points out how music is associated with memory, and thus is linked to positive or negative experiences.
There are two implications from this for your community facilities. The first is playing background music at your facilities is a good thing to do. It stimulates your guests’ brains and helps put them in a better mood. It also helps create a stronger association with your facility.
The second implication, however, is that you need the right music at the right times. There aren’t many people — outside of some teenagers — who enjoy loud, heavy metal music first thing in the morning. Conversely, slow-tempo, quiet music probably isn’t ideal for a group aerobics class.
The point is you need to think about who your guests are at the various times of the day and week, and what mood you are trying to set. Selecting a single radio station or genre of music is probably not going to create the effect you are looking for.
Here are some things to consider: In the morning, you want to stimulate and awaken your guests without jarring their eardrums. In the late morning and early afternoon, most people are at their highest energy levels, so your music should probably reflect that. In the late afternoon, most people can use a “pick me up” without getting too carried away. Evenings are usually for winding down, but you don’t necessarily want to put them to sleep.
Selecting the right music for the right audience at the right times can make a big difference in your guests’ experiences and keep them coming back.