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When we were growing up, many of us were yelled at by our parents for listening to music while we were studying.
Today, however, scientific researchers are touting the benefits of music for our working lives.
In fact, during a recent webinar, bestselling author and business owner Michael Hyatt said he even has a special playlist to work with. So how can music improve our working lives, and which music is best to listen to while we work?
Scientific benefits of listening to music
The industrial workspace can be noisy and full of distractions, and, according to a survey, 54% of high-performing employees find their work environment “too distracting.”
While it might seem counterintuitive, listening to music can actually help.
Here are several benefits of music noted by the medical team at Pfizer:
- It increases memory.
- It alleviates stress levels.
- It lifts the mood.
- It increases endurance.
4 types of music that can help you perform well at work
1. Sounds of nature
If you work in a busy office, listening to nature music can improve your ability to concentrate, research shows.
In an open plan office, it’s easy to get distracted by overhearing other conversations, being curious about what footsteps you hear behind you, and listening to other people click on their computers while you stare at your screen. . Listening to nature sounds like ocean waves can drown out other background noises and soothe your emotions, without distracting your attention from catchy lyrics.
2. Rock music
Rock music that includes the guitar helps improve memory and concentration, according to researchers at a Scottish university. Likewise, Dr Emma Gray, consultant clinical psychologist and service director at the British CTB and Counseling Service, has conducted research which has indicated that music with 50 to 80 beats per minute can create the alpha state in listeners’ brains. , making them more alert and better. able to concentrate.
There are positive benefits of rock music on the brain: the fast tempo is said to stimulate the brain. He is also said to motivate teens – and if he has the power to motivate teens, it can be assumed that he is certainly capable of doing the same for workers who are struggling to put a roof over them. their head.
However, be aware that other research has shown that listening to rock music can be distracting.
3. Classical music
The “Mozart effect” postulates that listening to classical music increases intelligence. The notion spawned an entire baby music industry, to the point that even pregnant women were enticed to listen to it.
It turns out that listening to Mozart actually has more short-term effects. Research in the 1990s actually found that students who listened to the Austrian composer’s piano sonata for 10 minutes performed better on spatial reasoning tasks for just 15 minutes afterwards.
More recently, however, in September 2021, research indicated that Mozart’s work Sonata for two pianos in D major K448 can help calm the brain and reduce symptoms of epilepsy.
Meanwhile, research from 2007 suggests that classical music prompts the brain to pay attention. Interestingly, it was the moments of silence that happened between musical movements composed by an obscure classical musician in which there was maximum brain activity, so the key may be to listen to music in spurts.
4. A song that makes sense to you
Corianne Rogalsky, who works at Arizona State University as an assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences, explains that listening to music that has an emotional connection to a moment of significance to the individual can stimulate the amygdala, where the brain stores emotional memory, preparing the listener to take action. She says that it only takes a few beats of the song for it to create an emotion.
For Arizona State NCAA Wrestling Champion Zahid Valencia, this song is the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Can’t Stop”. He listened to it throughout his victorious season.
For another person, their wedding song or the soundtrack to their favorite movie may be the trigger that motivates them. This means that all types of music have the power to positively influence the work – it just depends on the needs and interests of the listener.
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock.com