The CS Press

Does Music Really Improve Concentration?

Sean McGregor, Staff Writer

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Everyday billions of people head off to a long day of work and school. After a while they get tired and feel as if they are getting nothing done. Music is one of the best ways to combat this effect. I feel that music should be more widely allowed in the workplaces and classrooms. Many research papers have stated that music helps people study and work efficiently.

An article in Applied Ergonomics, a scientific journal, stated that, “The studies show that music is effective in raising efficiency in this type of work.”

Not only does music help you concentrate, it can help reduce anxiety. Anxiety can cause many different problems including panic, fear, and uneasiness. These symptoms can make it hard for people to concentrate and work. Music has been proven to help soothe anxiety and calm people down. This means that the symptoms of anxiety won’t be as harsh, and the person will get more done.

According to a study from the University of Utah Pain Research Center, when subjects were subjected to safe amounts of pain stimulation, the ones listening to music felt less pain. This is because music activates certain sensory pathways that compete with pain pathways.

The findings showed that central arousal from the pain stimuli reliably decreased with the increasing music-task demand,” said Rick Nauert from PsychCentral.

Many people believe that listening to Mozart music will make them smarter. This is called the “Mozart Effect.” The original study doesn’t even state this claim. The study only says it improves cognitive ability for 15 minutes. Many other researchers replicated the study and found no correlation between Mozart music and increased intelligence.

Not all types of music are beneficial though. In a study by Nick Perham, it was found that music containing lyrics often had a negative effect compared to silence. Clifford Nass, a professor at Stanford University, also thinks that music can often be negative when reading or writing, because we are using language parts of the brain. This doesn’t happen as much in math because there is no language in math.

“In my day, there was no way you could take music to the library. When [today’s students] go to the library to study, they bring their noise, and music, with them,” said by Clifford Nass.

Here are a few suggested tips to pick some music:

  1. Listen to classical or instrumental music. This type of music is calming and relaxing, so it won’t distract you as much.
  2. It could also help to listen to the sound of nature. This includes rain, waves, and much more. This can help block surrounding sound and help you concentrate.
  3. Either create a music playlist or find a playlist about an hour long so you won’t get distracted by picking a song every few minutes. This can also give you a built in timer, so you know when to take a break.
  4. Don’t pick music that has lyrics in it. This can distract you from your work. Also, don’t listen to the radio. All the ads and radio segments can distract you.
  5. The last tip is to turn the volume down. If it’s too loud, the music can once again distract you from your work.


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The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School
Does Music Really Improve Concentration?