Can Music Help You Concentrate?

You call that music?Moms have been nagging kids forever to turn off the radio/stereo/iPod while they’re studying. Does music affect concentration on the task at hand? That question has been the focus of studies and articles, to determine whether yes or no, and also which type of music might improve performance.

There’s no doubt that music is powerful. It has the potential to evoke deep emotions and bring out personality anomalies. It links cultures. Astute composers are able to evoke desired emotional responses in their listeners.

Research shows that people who study music early in their lives have higher GPAs and are also higher achievers than those who aren’t involved in music. I guess those early piano lessons really do pay off.

This research included information from the top three academic countries in the world who also have a high emphasis on music (Hungary, the Netherlands, and Japan) in their cultures and their schools. Sorry, USA.

Studies have also been conducted to find the relationship between music and mood.

In one research study, music was played in a gym during a workout, and the researchers examined the mood of the subjects immediately following. The results revealed that listening to uplifting music did manipulate the mind by causing the subjects to be more supportive, while those subjects who listened to annoying music were short-tempered and unhelpful.

Music played in a women’s clothing store affected the customers’ perception of service quality. Another study found that employee efficiency is at its lowest when there is no music playing. Employees produced more high quality work while listening to music and finished their tasks faster.

In 2002 a study demonstrated that the type of music was important to the impact it had on efficiency. Researchers played grunge rock for the subjects and found that it evoked feelings of hostility and reduced mental clarity and motivation.

Then there is Dr Emoto’s work with ice crystals formed in the presence of specific types of music.

Heavy Metal vs Mozart

We know intuitively that music is rarely neutral (how boring that would be!). The music will have a negative or positive effect on our attitude and our concentration. In an article in 1995 researchers confirmed this knowledge.

The results from ongoing studies and research show that:

  • Music affects concentration
  • It impacts behavior
  • It can have a definite negative or positive impact
  • Students who study with positive music are more giving and helpful.

Teen with iPodResearch has shown that music has a positive impact on children’s study habits, too.

So maybe mothers shouldn’t be so concerned about those ear buds always hangin’ out they little heads.

But what kind of music is playing in that MP3?

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