Calming Your Mind: Can Music Help You Concentrate While Working or Learning?
Music is a part of many of our lives, and we listen to music for a variety of reasons. There are many different genres, and we all have our preference. There are particular benefits to be had from listening to music, from providing relaxation to igniting creativity. However, did you know that music can help you to concentrate while working or learning? It doesn’t seem possible because with music comes some level of noise. Playing music while working or learning seems distracting and counterproductive. Let’s look at how music can, in fact, help you concentrate while working or learning.
The brain plays an important role in how it receives music and the sort of impact it has on a person. According to Dr. Masha Godkin, a professor in the Department of Marriage and Family Sciences at Northcentral University, particular types of music have the potential to take a person from the Beta brainwave (waking consciousness & reasoning) state to deeper Alpha (deep relaxation), and then Theta (light meditation & sleeping) brainwave, and that music activates both the left and right portions of the brain simultaneously, which can maximize learning and improve memory. Music has the ability to recruit both the auditory areas of the brain, and it employs complex neural networks, which can activate emotional, motor and creative areas of the brain. Meditation music, for example, is ideal for concentration since it relieves stress and relaxes the mind.
Music Helps to Focus Attention
Music appears distracting naturally because it creates sound. So how can it help you to concentrate? The answer might be in habituation. In a busy cafe with different sounds all around, you may see individuals working, appearing unbothered by the noise. Some theorist believes that there is a limit on how much processing power the brain has for any given sensory modality at a time, and over time, you get used to the noise. This process is called habituation, and once you become habituated to your auditory environment, distractions will be quieted down by the neurons in the brain, which allows you to concentrate. Music behaves in the same respect through habituation, quietening down the neurons that sense the sound of the music, allowing you to focus more. You essentially tune out the noise around you and direct your attention on your work.
The Arousal-mood Hypothesis
The “arousal-mood hypothesis” is the idea that listening to fast-paced, upbeat music enhances a person’s problem solving ability during a task. In a study that employed the use of the same Mozart sonata in either a faster or slower tempo, and in a major or minor key, allowing the participants to listen to a single piece of music, but with different characteristics, it was discovered that the faster, major-key version of the piece had a positive effect on solving a spatial task. In a sense, music tempo and mode influence levels of arousal and mood states, which, in turn, influence performance on tasks like working and learning. Upbeat music tracks by Chad Focus could affect arousal and mood in the listener, stimulating cognitive performance benefits, leading to improved concentration and focus on your work.
Music has the ability to impact the brain in ways that can enhance concentration while working and learning. It can help you to tune out certain sounds in a noisy environment and focus on what’s important. The right type of music can calm your mind and improve your learning and performance.