Can Music Affect Concentration

Mothers have been nagging students for years to turn off their music while they are studying. Does music affect concentration while doing tasks? That question has been the focus of studies and articles, to not only answer the question, but also determine which type of music might improve the performance during a task.

Research in the area of the brain has been immense. It is the endeavor of scientists to understand human behavior and increase the ability to help those who have suffered brain injuries.

There is no doubt that music affects concentration and is powerful. It has the potential to evoke deep emotions and bring out different aspects of people’s personalities. It is a common link between cultures. Music is cross-cultural. Many of today’s composers use cultural influences to evoke certain responses in their listeners.

Research has shown that people who study music early in their lives have higher GPA’s and are also higher achievers than those who are not involved in music. Those early piano lessons really do pay off.

This research also included information from the top three academic countries in the world who also have a high emphasis on music in their cultures and their schools. This has implications to the school system in other countries where student’s scores are not nearly as high.

Studies have also been conducted to find the relationship between music and mood. In one research study, music was played in a gym during a workout. The researchers examined the mood of the subjects immediately following their workout. The results revealed that listening to uplifting music did manipulate the mind by causing the subjects to be more supportive while those subjects who listened to annoying music were short-tempered and unhelpful.

Music played in a women’s fashion store demonstrated to researchers that music affected the customer’s perception of service quality and thus the return customer visits. Also, in another study researchers found that employee efficiency is at it’s lowest when people are not listening to music. Employees produced more high quality work while listening to music and finished their tasks faster. This continued to confirm that music affects concentration in the listener.

In 2002 a study demonstrated that tahe type of music was important to the impact it had on efficiency. Researchers played grunge rock for the subjects and found that it evoked feelings of hostility and reduced mental clarity and motivation. (1)

We know intuitively that music is never neutral. The music will have a negative or positive effect on our attitude and our personality. In an article in 1995 researchers confirmed this knowledge.

The final results from the studies and research that has been ongoing is that music affects concentration; it has an impact on our behavior; that certain music has a negative impact while others have a positive impact; and that students who study with positive music are more giving and helpful. Research has also shown that music has a positive impact on the study habits of children. So mothers who are concerned about their kids and their MP3 players should worry no more. The new concern is what music is playing in the MP3?

(1) Alternative Therapies: The Effects of Different Types of Music on Mood, Tension and Mental Clarity


University of South Wales: The Effect of Music on Perceived Atmosphere and Purchase Intentions in a Restaurant

Johns Hopkins: Music and Learning: Integrating Music int he Classroom

Chapel Hill: The Effect of Music-Listening on the Enjoyment of Physical Activity Experience

University of New Mexico: The Effects of Music on Exercise

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