Can Music Help Your Concentration?
Most of us have heard the theory that listening to music can help you focus. Whether you’re studying, writing, reading, or just trying to get any task complete, music has been known at the culprit for a concentration boost. We know how it can be when you’re doing a single, monotonous task at your desk for several hours. You’ll notice your attention span start to lessen and you get antsy. You try to get up and walk around or get a snack – anything to clear your mind and refocus.
However, there is a common theory that suggests music can help get your mind on track. Some suggest classical music, while others prefer light jazz. Whichever type of music you prefer, it is likely to have a positive impact on your concentration. On the other hand, some may say that listening to music can be distracting – so what’s the deal? Does music work, or not?
There’s not concrete reason as to why music can be so addicting. The brain just likes music! The brain can process the type of music that makes you want to dance. When you have an upbeat song come up, you’re likely tapping your foot or doing something to dance along to the beat. So this is where you can start experimenting with which genres of music entice you to focus. You should be in search of those perfect tunes to clear your mind and help you focus on what you’re doing.
How Music Helps You Pay Attention
Okay – so with all the arguments opposing each other regarding this matter, how do we know which is one true? Why would music help us focus and concentrate?
Well, it’s quite scientific, actually. Music has some interesting abilities in how it effects the brain. There are two systems of attention in the brain. The conscious and the unconscious. The conscious focuses on our senses and what may trigger those. The unconscious is linked to emotional processing. The trouble here is that our conscious attention system usually focuses on what we are doing, whereas the unconscious attention system is always processing things. So, if whatever it is we are doing is boring, the unconscious system will be even more effective. In other terms, you won’t need a distraction as much to focus your attention on something.
Do you know that feeling when you’re working in an office, or anywhere for that matter, and you’re trying to focus on something but there’s someone next to you making an annoying sound? Whether they’re chewing their gum loud or talking on the phone loud, these can just be annoying distractions. In such situations, music can be extremely helpful. Think of the music as a way to soothe your surroundings. It’s the unconscious system kicking in to distract us from the non-welcomed distractions.
Types of Music
When it comes to what type of music can be the best for you concentration, it has been argued that the video game soundtrack can be the best. Strange, right? However, when you think about it does make sense. The purpose of video game soundtrack is to help you focus on what you’re doing, and not distract you completely so you take over listening to the music. Music also has a huge impact on your mood. Something else to look out for is music with catchy lyrics. Musical pieces without words might be better-working companions, as human speech and vocalisation is something our brains pay particular attention to.
However, it’s not all about just having the right background music to block out distractions. Several people and companies try pink noise, which is a step below white noise, which is known to boost productivity as well. As usual, views of the effectiveness are mixed. It seems clear that the type of noise, or music, is important. This may seem obvious: someone listening to classical music while they work wouldn’t seem at all unusual, but if they were listening to heavy metal it would be thought of as odd!
So what do you think? Do you play music to help you focus an concentrate? Tell us about it in the comments below and let us know what works best for you!
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