Accessible Music, Soothing Music
Listening to music is a loved activity by people all over the world. In “Do you listen to music while studying? A portrait of how people use music to optimize their cognitive performance.” Franziska Goltz and Makiko Sadakata say that “access to music at any time and place becomes more and more common.” We can play music by a couple clicks onto a smartphone and a pair of headphones; it’s that easy. Being able to listen to music so easily gives us the freedom to listen to it while doing work, eating, cleaning, you name it. The most interesting time to listen is while doing homework/studying. The easy access to music allows students to listen to music while studying, helping them perform better and become more efficient.
It’s no secret that music on smartphones has become more popular over the years. As the iPhone has grown, as well as other Apple products and other companies, the use of phones has been essential. It’s no wonder that by clicking a few buttons you can play your favorite album. Spotify is a major company that houses over 380 million active users every month. The app is free, as long as you’re okay with ads, and you can create your own playlists with your favorite tunes. This creates the easiest access to music for anyone and everyone. You can plug some headphones in and even use wireless bluetooth earbuds to listen to your music on the go! No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can listen to music. This creates an atmosphere for students to complete their homework or study with music playing in the background. Whether this is good or bad on the students attention span and performance depends on lots of factors, but the better side of results has prevailed.
The individual person is going to have a lot of effects on whether listening to music or not increases working performance. A big thing that comes into play is something called working memory capacity. Individuals who possess a higher WMC are much more likely to perform better with music than those who have a lower one. Having a much higher WMC will let your brain multitask better, leaving room for the music to sit in your brain while also engaging with your work. Personality will also change how music will affect your performance. If you are more extraverted, pop music would not affect you when studying or doing homework, so if that is your favorite genre you’re all set. Introverted people tend to like the quiet much more, but some soft classical music could help them. Someone more music oriented is going to enjoy their favorite genre when working much more than someone who isn’t. They may become more interested in the music than the work itself, but this has only been tested once, showing that it maynot be true in all cases. Music that engages in lyrics and a fast tempo is not going to be the best choice for someone trying to focus on writing a paper. The music that you will get the best performance results with is softer instrumental classical music, as it has the least distracting qualities. The soft music will stimulate a part of your brain that can mold around what you are thinking about, creating a pleasing atmosphere for you. Overall, the individual and an individual’s preferences are going to matter a lot when it comes to the positive effects of playing music when working, but there is always something for everyone.
Having music on in the background when performing a critical thinking or memory assignment is going to positively affect your performance, especially if you have figured out the correct music for you. There is a bump here for the fact that someone who has been listening to music when studying for a long time will see better results in their performance. Someone less experienced with this may not have the same results as quickly, but with some time they will be able to receive those positive improvements. If you are trying to memorize vocabulary terms, learn a new language, or even complete spatial and logical reasoning tasks, you will have positive effects from listening to music. The modulation of your prefrontal cortex activity can be prominent evidence that background music has positive effects. The prefrontal cortex has shown reduced activity when an individual is learning when listening to music, therefore showing a reduced demand on the use of the prefrontal cortex. This portrays clear effects of playing music while doing homework and studying, and that it can make an individual more relaxed allowing more space for the individual to feel comfortable. Be sure to find the best music for you or these results will vary for you. Most individuals will see the best results when listening to background music that is instrumental, allowing their brain to accept the noise but not focus as much energy on it. Vocal music, or music with lyrics, especially songs that are very familiar to you, will cause your brain to start focusing on those words instead of the ones on the paper.
If music was hard to get access to for the average person, many wouldn’t listen to it. Maybe it would be an occasional treat to have once in a while, especially if it always costs money. Nowadays there are a ton of platforms providing free music to its users, allowing people to listen to music on their phones whenever they want to! Having this huge cloud of music available lets students listen to music when they are studying or doing homework as well. Studies have shown that having background music when doing so does have positive effects on an individual’s performance and efficiency. Many factors come into play to make this feat possible, such as the individual’s personality type, working memory capacity, music preference, and more. This very easy access to music on the go allows individuals to listen when doing homework and studying, creating a better performance from them overall.
Goltz, F., & Sadakata, M. (2021, September 20). Do you listen to music while studying? A portrait of how people use music to optimize their cognitive performance. Acta Psychologica. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691821001670?via%3Dihub.