Music has its place in health. Music therapy, supervised by a trained therapist, can help patients who have psychological disorders or serious illnesses to feel better. Is it better to work in Music or in silence to study effectively? Can Music help you learn? Does it interfere with the brain?
Most of the students believe that listening to music helps them to learn and revise their lessons. Moreover, it helps them to concentrate better. Even some say they can’t review and study without Music. However, on the other side, some are those who think that Music incredibly distracts them. They need silence as they can’t give the best quality of work with Music. So the question is that listening to music helps them to study or distract them.
Isn’t silence preferable in all cases to achieve better concentration?
I think music really helps us to get into our bubble. It does not mobilize too much attention, but it depends on the type of tasks. You know the” Cocktail party effect “: when we’re in the evening and want to listen to someone despite the surrounding noise. The brain creates an attention bubble around itself. Motivation also helps a lot.
“Certain sounds created by computer allow you to enter an attention bubble.”
On the other hand, there are sounds created by machines from algorithms that can promote concentration. We’ve built different types of noise, and we’ve studied their effects. “White noise,” for example, seems to help newborns fall asleep.
“Pink noises” or “brown noises” allow you to enter a bubble, and they promote concentration. They have an excellent effect on people who have attention deficit disorder or who have tinnitus. ”
Listening to songs hinders learning, do we know why?
“Yes, the phenomenon is scientifically established. Our brain hears words, even if we don’t pay attention to them or don’t understand them because they are, for example, in English. The brain starts its sort of like putting a sign in front of this screen with the word “mom” basically: the brain reads the word automatically, so it’s in a dual cognitive task.
The human brain cannot do two things at the same time. Once a task wonder any cognitive investment, it increases the working memory, which must be spared as much as possible. This working memory can be compared to the RAM of a computer. When you’ve twenty web windows open, you see that your PC is going really slow. It’s the same thing when you’re multitasking while studying. Hence, music hinders learning.
“You must at all costs avoid listening to spoken music while working”
In addition, a song has an emotional side that tends to lead. Little by little, we get into the song.
Don’t turn up the volume too much?
“Yes, absolutely. At the volume level, I experimented with myself. I noticed that when the volume was a little too loud, even music that usually helped me quickly triggered a stall visual: you know when we lose attention, and our eyes start to go blank. This is typically the signal that we need to take a break for the brain.
However, by putting the music a little too loud, this phenomenon occurred after 3 to 4 minutes instead of 25 to 30 minutes. So the volume is really a point of vigilance.
Is there a Mozart Effect?
The effects of music depend on the type of student and kind of song. Maybe it helps me to focus while it won’t help my neighbor. The research conducted by Dr. Gordon Shaw on the brain reveals that listening to classical music increases the IQ level as much as nine points. It was dubbed the Mozart effect. However, some people now called it a Mozart Myth. This is due to several reasons. But the important one is students were only tested on spatial intelligence. Besides, further researches conducted on the Mozart effect found zero evidence that IQ level increases with listening to classical songs.
Back to the music: what can be its favorable effects for the student?
“Music, you have noticed, has an incredible effect on our mood. Listening to music causes the secretion of several hormones linked to pleasure, such as dopamine, serotonin, and even oxytocin.
I remember a video showing an old grandpa with Alzheimer’s disease. He hadn’t been communicating for years, but when we made him listen to music he loved when he was young, he lit up. After a few seconds, he started to sing, to live again. For me, it’s a symbol of power music.
So yes, music can motivate or relax. Because it ultimately modulates the activity of the nervous system. So in the morning, you can listen to good, cheerful music that you love doing a little gymnastics. And when you come home in the evening, you can also take a break in the music to relax before you start studying.
What should I say to students who are reluctant to stop listening to their favorite songs while working?
Listening to your usual playlist may be a good time, but in reality, it distracts you. However, there is no quality work without quality attention. So you have to work longer, you have worse results and less free time…!
So I really encourage these students to test pink or brown noises. Identifying what makes you more productive or not is key to success in life.
Furthermore, when you are well focused, your mind is busy, and you no longer need to look for a little pleasure in listening to your favorite music. When you are attentive to one thing, you become blind to the rest. In neuroscience, this phenomenon is called “attentional blindness”.