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Meet Billy Kirsch of Kidbilly Music – Team Building Through Song in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Billy Kirsch.

Billy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I spent years writing songs for the country music market with a good deal of success. I’ve written numerous hit songs. I’ve been nominated for Grammy and Emmy awards and I’ve won Country Music Association and ACM awards.

Around 2006 as the music industry began to change, I noticed that the commercial outlets for my songwriting were going away so I began to think about how to channel my creative output differently. I’ve always had a passion for teaching, coaching and communicating so I began to think about ways of bringing songwriting, storytelling and creativity to the corporate world.

I quickly discovered that creativity and innovation as ideals are valued by most corporations, but a lot of organizations don’t really know how to help their workforce use their creative abilities. Lots of organizations talk innovation but don’t create opportunity to pursue it from within.

I began to market my concept of team building through song® to help people experience and gain confidence in their creative abilities. I found people to be responsive and excited about the idea of using music and song to inspire people and to help them think about actually pursuing innovation on a regular basis. Most importantly though, writing songs is fun. I’ve had to prove to business people that fun has value but when given a chance, most people see that this is true, especially in the workplace.

From the germ of an idea in 2006 up to today my concept has grown into a vibrant company that keeps me and my team of hit songwriters busy. We’ve written songs with a diverse group of companies such as Walt Disney, Microsoft, L’Oréal, Harley-Davidson, Pfizer and more.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course it hasn’t always been a smooth road but nothing worthwhile ever is. I’ve been a full time pianist and songwriter since the age of nineteen so I’m fairly comfortable going left when everyone else goes right…basically in taking risks. When I got into this, it never occurred to me that lots of people would be scared to put themselves out there – to get involved with music and creativity.

So one of the challenges I constantly face is convincing people to take a chance and hire us. Sometimes it’s hard to convince people that they won’t be embarrassed or put on the spot by making music with their colleagues. But at this point, we have lots of video and stories we can share that demonstrate that our program is accessible and not scary or hokey. But you can’t convince everyone to take a chance on doing something out of the box.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We bring the power of story and song to the corporate world. Every organization has a story that makes it unique. Through the songwriting process we help companies communicate and celebrate their differentiators, what makes that company special.

Music really is a universal language and even if you can’t carry a tune, songs are an important part of your life. We help groups tap into their universal language to communicate, build relationships and have fun together.

Our events include programs in which you break into teams or large group events that keep everyone together. We’ve actually written songs with groups as large as 2,000 people! That large group experience is a high energy alternative keynote session for conferences. A lot of our work is in the team building space in which corporate groups break into teams, with each team writing as song and then performing the songs as they compete for awards.

I like to joke that our team of hit songwriters are blessed and cursed with both right brain and left brain function. What this means is that we entertain our clients but we also lead them through an intentional process that’s both creative and organized. Through music and song our clients get to experience the power of intellect and emotion harnessed together. It’s exciting for us because the people we work with get so excited when they’re allowed to ‘feel’ in their work environment.

Something I’m most proud of and that sets us apart is that we’re always deeply engaged and totally in the process with our clients. We take risks at every program because we have to create something from nothing every time. We start with blank canvasses and end with finished songs. While we do a lot of pre-program planning, we don’t pre-plan the songs. So we’re sincerely co-creating in the moment with everyone at each event.

What were you like growing up?
I’ve always been into music, wrote my first song when I was seven years old. I guess you could say I’m an introvert; with books, records and the piano being my safe and secure places. The funny thing is, while I’m never quite comfortable at social gatherings, once I walk on stage things change. I think it’s because I’m focused on the music and my process rather than trying too hard to perform that I’ve actually become a pretty good performer. It took me a long time to learn not to try too hard and that’s really helped me evolve.

When I’m not working, nature is where I like to be. My wife and I recently moved to farm country. We live on 5 acres nestled between two cattle farms. I love being able to disconnect and get away simply by spending time outside.

And then there’s travel. Musicians get to travel a lot and it’s not only fun, it’s really interesting. Traveling also helps me appreciate the time I spend back at home.

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