Music can have both positive and negative effects on the ability to concentrate, depending on the person and the type of music.
Melotherapy (music therapy) has been used for centuries for the purpose of relaxation and relaxation. But it can also have beneficial effects on our ability to concentrate and learn, according to the researchers.
Music has become much more accessible to the public in recent decades. One factor influencing was the increasing availability of music. If in the past, we needed CDs or cassettes and a suitable player, music can now be played digitally on many different devices, such as personal computers, mobile phones or MP3 players.
Moreover, the choice of music tracks is almost endless, thanks to the online music streaming sevices. This makes it possible to select the right songs for different situations, such as relaxing tunes for a calm evening or entertaining tunes for the gym. Thanks to these advances in music technology, learning with background music has been getting more and more attention over the last decade.
In some situations, it is obvious why music would help improve the mood. But in what way do learning and concentration skills influence? Currently, the effects of background music and the mechanisms behind it are not clear.
On the one hand, music seems to have a positive effect and a stimulating effect, which could improve learning. On the other hand, background music could create an additional burden on working memory, thus preventing learning by constantly distracting attention.
A recent study tested the effects of background music on the learning abilities of students of different mental abilities. Regarding the understanding of the studied subject, the researchers found a significant interaction between listening to background music and working memory capacity.
The only notable and significant contrast was observed in students with the lowest working memory capacity. They obtained higher understanding scores without background music. Because their working memory capacity is limited, these students could not simultaneously process study tasks and background music. For all other levels of intelligence capacity, the researchers did not find such a difference.
Most people form a deep connection with music because it is imprinted in our brain and bodies through memories. The elements of music, such as rhythm, melody, etc., echo in our physiology, functioning and being.
The type of music chosen, as well as the volume, can influence learning and concentration skills. The most recommended styles of music for this purpose are:
Classical Music – In 1993, a research described the so-called “Mozart effect”, according to which students who listened to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos for 10 minutes showed significantly better spatial reasoning skills. The results were compared with the periods of listening to the relaxation instructions designed to lower blood pressure and complete silence. The IQ scores of the subjects were 8 or 9 points higher after listening to the music than in the other two conditions. But the effect of improvement did not last longer than 10-15 minutes. That is why this research is still under debate, many studies failing to replicate the results.
Ambiental Music – This type of music is more modern than classical music and has a similar effect. The background music in some video games, for example, was specifically designed to make the experience more realistic and help players focus. It will have the same effect in a serious environment as the scholar.
Nature sounds – Audio recordings with rain, sea waves, storms or birds full of birds, although they do not fall into the same category as music, they can have the same effects. Relaxation induced by the sounds of nature can reduce anxiety related to learning or concentration at work.