Great instructors are passionate about music. They have an ear for what works and what doesn’t. They know how to create playlists that support their profiles, appeal to the class timeslot, and most importantly, motivates them.
What? Shouldn’t I create playlists based on what my riders want? It’s a consideration for sure, but asking riders what they want to hear, or appealing only to what you think they want, is a slippery slope. It’s clear to riders when an instructor not only knows their music, but connects to their music. It can be the difference between being an okay instructor and a truly inspiring instructor.
It’s critical to know what moves you. Which sounds, rhythms, genres, voices and all other aspects of music catch your ear and connect with your spirit? What speaks to you? What makes you want to create a new kick-butt profile and playlist because you heard a certain song? Make that sound(s) part of your signature style, your “anchor” sound, and your connection to the music will come through in every ride.
But what if you are motivated by different music than your riders?
If your riders love rock and you love EDM, for example, here are some approaches to try to bridge the differences in musical preferences between you and your riders:
- Try to find a combination of songs from both (or multiple) genres that have something in common – tempo, rhythm, energy, theme – and that could potentially appeal to your riders and energize you.
- Commit to periodically creating music-based theme rides using music your riders prefer, e.g. live rock, 80s songs, Grammy award winners.
- Create “artist versus artist” playlists using artists you love and artists they love.
- Offer a special profile ride comprised of songs your riders pick and two of your favorites.
You can use these approaches in any scenario, but these approaches can provide a best-case scenario for using music you would not consider using otherwise.
Remember, for your energy to authentically shine through, the majority of music you use has to motivate and energize you!