Playing the piano is generally done on an individual basis with the occasional duet. When I was 14 years old, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about teamwork from a piano playing experience. I was invited to play in Pianorama, a concert put on in Nashville where piano players are invited and to perform and divided into groups based on their level of skill. I happened to be put in the advanced group with 23 other participants. We were then paired with another individual who we would play a duet with while sitting at the same piano. In my group, there were twelve pairs playing the duet on twelve pianos simultaneously. At one point, the duet splits into two parts, becoming a duet with six pianos (twelve participants) playing one part and six pianos (twelve participants) playing the other part.
When I look back at everything that had to come together for that concert to be a success, there is a lot that can be learned about teamwork. We all came from different parts of the state and had different piano playing styles. Because we came from all over the state, we could only practice together once a week for six weeks. We did a lot of work as individuals to learn our parts and then as we met as a group put it all together. We had to rely on and trust not only our partners to learn their parts, but everyone in the group. In the end, we had the chance to play in front of 5,000 people and our performance was a huge success.
Here at CMOE we define teamwork as a group of people who:
• Combine their energy and efforts to achieve common goals.
• Are committed to achieving the team’s goals.
• Fulfill their roles and responsibilities.
• Have defined processes, procedures, and mechanisms that enable them to function at peak performance.
With Pianorama, our goal was defined and each of us knew exactly what we individually needed to do in order to accomplish the goal. The more specific the goal and the assignments at the individual level are, the better the chance that everything will come together in the end. As we become members of different teams, we need to understand that everyone will have different skills and personalities and that in order to work together as a team, we must learn how to capitalize on those differences.
After all the individual preparation was one and we put all the pieces together, the end result was a beautiful, harmonious song. No one stood out any more than anyone else. Cohesive teamwork occurs when each person recognizes that individual recognition and achievement is less rewarding than achieving the team’s overall goal.
The bottom line is, good teamwork makes beautiful music.