Accessible Music, Soothing Music
Listening to music is a loved activity by students, especially when studying and doing homework. 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, and many other activities. 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 we can play our favorite albums. Spotify is a major company that houses over 380 million active users every month. The app is free, as long as ads are okay, and we can create our own playlists with our favorite tunes. This creates the easiest access to music for anyone and everyone. We can plug some headphones in and even use wireless bluetooth earbuds to listen to our music on the go! No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we can listen to music. This creates an atmosphere for students to complete their homework or study with music playing in the background. Results are not guaranteed for every individual.
The brain of an individual is going to have a lot of effects on whether listening to music increases working performance. A big thing that comes into play is something called working memory capacity (WMC). Having a much higher WMC will let our brains multitask better, leaving room for the music to sit in our brains while also engaging with our work. This does not work as well for individuals with a low WMC. Personality will also change how music will affect our performances. If an extroverted individual listens to pop music, it would not affect her when studying or doing homework, so if that is her favorite genre she is all set. Introverted people tend to like the quiet much more, but some soft classical music could help him. Someone more music oriented is going to enjoy their favorite genre when working much more than someone who isn’t. He may become more interested in the music than the work itself, but this has only been tested once, showing that it may not 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 we 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 our brains that can mold around what we are thinking about, creating a pleasing atmosphere for us. 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 an individuals performance, especially if she have figured out the correct music for her. 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 he will be able to receive those positive improvements. If he are trying to memorize vocabulary terms, learn a new language, or even complete spatial and logical reasoning tasks, he will have positive effects from listening to music. The modulation of our 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 or these results will vary for an individual. 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 us, will cause our 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.
P1. Through no fault of your own, LittleCow, you picked up a trick in writing classes that actually serves no purpose. The goal of your first paragraph is to get to “The easy access to music makes students more efficient,” but you start with a claim about music access “all over the world.” Those big, global statements are popular among writer who want to “funnel” their arguments from universal down to particular, but—I know it’s a small thing—I spent your entire first paragraph wastefully wondering about people in disadvantaged countries for whom technology is mostly absent. If they’re not your target subject group, you’ve lost my attention in your first sentence.
Goltz and Sadakata don’t address ONLY easy access. Their title indicates they also claim cognitive improvements for music listeners. So, direct our attention to Students (not the whole population of the earth) whose easy access gives them a mental edge.
You might resist my observation that your second paragraph largely repeats your first, but as a test, can you tell me without looking which paragraph these sentences come from?
—Being able to listen to music gives us freedom to listen while working, eating, you name it.
—It’s no secret that music on smartphones has become more popular over the years.
—The most interesting time to listen is while doing homework/studying.
—It’s no wonder that by clicking a few buttons you can play your favorite album.
—You can plug some headphones in and listen to music on the go!
—We can play music by a couple clicks onto a smartphone and a pair of headphones.
—Easy access to music allows students to listen to music while studying.
—No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you can listen to music.
—Students can complete their homework or study with music playing in the background.
I see how this is confusing! I would guess
Going off of this and looking back, I am wrong for a few of them and I will definitely change this so it is a clear difference.
You have earned my admiration by actually taking the test, LC. And recording your results! 🙂
I wonder why you would spend so much energy minimizing the benefit of music on studying BEFORE you even start to prove it, LittleCow.
You haven’t laid out your case for the cognitive benefits yet, but you’re already hedging:
—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.
—Differences in individuals determine whether music increases performance OR NOT.
—Individuals with higher WMC perform better with music than those with a lower one.
That’s a sampling of the “qualifications” you make for a proof you haven’t yet proved.
Suppose, instead, you made your BEST CASE for the BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT that evidence supports. After that, to be fair, you could allow for the qualifications:
1. Results vary
2. Results not guaranteed for all individuals in every case
3. Does not work as well for those with low WMC . . . .
See how that works? You don’t sell a big-ass pickup truck by pointing out what crappy gas mileage it gets.
Yes, I see how I made qualifications. It makes much more sense to make the best case for improvement, something a reader will be more engaged in.
Never say “may or may not” when only one benefits you, or matters. 🙂
This is great feedback, thank you! I am going to be making revisions based on what you have said, it has been a great help to see how my writing is taken in.
We rarely get the chance to hear back immediately from readers who are truly invested in our persuasiveness.