Be a composer of your own life’s melody and discover your “Why”

Greg Twemlow
5 min readOct 19, 2023
The Circle of Fifths is Analogous to the Future Skills Studio Pedagogical Model

In the age-old wisdom of music lies the Circle of Fifths, a timeless concept that encapsulates an endless cycle of learning and discovery. This classic theory intricately maps out the harmonic relationships between the twelve tones of the musical scale, each key leading to the next with a promise of new melodic adventures. The Circle is more than just a theoretical construct; it’s a musical odyssey where every progression opens up a realm of auditory explorations akin to a spiral of never-ending learning.

The beauty of this concept lies in its cyclical nature, symbolizing that learning is not a linear journey but a continuous loop of discovery, refinement, and mastery. Just as musicians traverse this Circle to explore new harmonic vistas, enriching their musical essence, individuals embark on a lifelong educational voyage to unveil new layers of understanding and capability. The harmonic progression inherent in the Circle of Fifths resonates profoundly with the rhythm of continuous learning in our personal and professional realms, orchestrating a symphony of growth and self-discovery that plays through every facet of our lives.

In the realm of music, the Circle of Fifths is a melodic compass guiding musicians through a journey of harmonic discovery. Each progression from one note to the next unveils a unique musical essence, akin to a learner unraveling a new facet of understanding with each skill acquired. The nature of continuous learning and harmonic progression, deeply embedded in music and personal development, paves the way for a symphonic growth journey.

Just as a musician explores the realm of harmonic possibilities to create resonant melodies, individuals embark on a lifelong learning quest to unearth their potential. The harmony in this context isn’t merely about consonant chords but an orchestrated progression of acquiring and mastering skills that resonate with one’s personal and professional aspirations.

Structural Resonance:

Much like the Circle of Fifths provides a structural foundation for exploring musical relationships, a well-curated pedagogical model offers a structured pathway for learners. This structure facilitates a coherent understanding, enabling learners to navigate through the myriad skills and knowledge areas with ease and comprehension.

Sequential Progression:

Every chord in a harmonic sequence lays the foundation for the next, creating a melodic flow. Similarly, the sequential progression of skills in a learning pathway lays a robust foundation, where the mastery of one skill significantly contributes to the understanding and ability of the subsequent skill. This cumulative learning experience enriches the learner’s journey, making each step forward a resonant leap towards achieving their personal and professional goals.

Creative Exploration:

The realm of music is boundless, with harmonic progression acting as a catalyst for creative exploration. Likewise, a structured learning pathway ignites curiosity and fosters a conducive environment for learners to venture beyond the prescribed curriculum. This aspect of creative exploration is instrumental in nurturing an innovative mindset and a zest for continuous learning.

Reflective Harmony:

Musicians often dwell in the retrospective essence of their compositions to refine their artistry. Similarly, reflective learning, underscored by self-assessment and constructive feedback, is pivotal for personal and professional growth. It fosters a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging learners to fine-tune their skills and adapt to the evolving demands of their journey.

Symphonic Confluence:

The confluence of different musical notes gives birth to a symphony. Analogously, harmoniously integrating varied skills leads to holistic personal and professional development. This symphonic confluence is the essence of a fulfilling learning journey, where each skill acquired is a note added to the learner’s melody of growth.

The harmonious analogy between musical progression and lifelong learning enables us to envisage our personal and professional development as a musical expedition.

It’s about orchestrating learning experiences in a way that they resonate with our aspirations and echo through the hallways of our career and personal endeavors. As we navigate the realms of knowledge, may our learning journey compose a melody of growth, success, and fulfillment.

Embark on your harmonized learning journey, explore the rhythm of new skills, and let the melody of your growth resonate through the spectrum of your personal and professional life.

The intertwining of musical harmony and skills development presents a resonant framework for individuals to delve into their “why” — the core purpose that fuels their personal and professional growth.

Future Skills Studio Pedagogy is represented here as a Roman Arch

Here’s how this musical-skills relationship facilitates this profound exploration:

Self-Expression:

Much like music provides a medium for emotional expression and individuality; mastering skills enables individuals to express their innate strengths, interests, and values. Through this process, they can discover and articulate their unique contributions to their communities and professions.

Exploration and Discovery:

The journey of mastering musical harmonies resembles the path of skill acquisition, where each step is an exploration that could unveil a deeper understanding of one’s interests, aptitudes, and, ultimately, their “why.” This ongoing exploration nurtures a self-reflective process vital for uncovering one’s core purpose.

Resonance with Core Values:

Just as harmonic progressions in music resonate with the essence of sound, a structured progression of skill development can help individuals resonate with their core values and beliefs. This resonance creates a clearer vision of their “why” and how they can align their actions with their overarching life goals.

Creative Fulfillment:

The creative fulfillment derived from exploring harmonic realms in music is analogous to the satisfaction and self-realization of mastering skills and achieving goals. This fulfillment often illuminates the path to discovering one’s “why.”

Continuous Reflection:

The cyclic nature of the Circle of Fifths, akin to the continuous learning loop, encourages a reflective practice. Individuals constantly reflect on their learning experiences, achievements, and challenges, fostering a deeper understanding of their “why” and how it evolves.

Empowerment:

The empowerment and confidence gained from mastering new skills and overcoming challenges are akin to a musician conquering new harmonic territories. This empowerment often ignites a more precise understanding and articulation of one’s “why.”

Harmony between Aspirations and Actions:

Establishing a harmony between one’s aspirations and actions is central to discovering and living out one’s “why.” The structured yet explorative nature of the musical-skills relationship facilitates this harmony, enabling individuals to align their skills and actions with their core purpose.

The harmonic framework of the musical-skills relationship is a resonant guide. It enables individuals to orchestrate their actions in tune with their “why,” creating a harmonious symphony of purpose-driven life and work.

It’s a rhythmic journey; people are not just learners or professionals but composers of their own life’s melody, each note resonating with their deeper purpose and contributing to the larger symphony of communal and global progression.

About the author: Greg Twemlow, Co-Founder of Future Skills Studio, father of three, and perhaps one day a grandfather.

Greg Twemlow: Sharing what I’ve learned from 35 years as a citizen of the world, parent, corporate executive, entrepreneur, and, since 2018, CEO of Future Skills Studio, focused on experiential learning programs.

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Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era