Music for the Brain: Concentration or Distraction? | Coursera Community

Music for the Brain: Concentration or Distraction?

  • 14 February 2021
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Hello!

What do you think? Does listening to music while studying or working improve your concentration, or does it distract you from your work and you focus more on the music itself?

What kind of music can be good for concentration, and what can cause distraction?

Does music distract you if you’re a musician and tend to follow the notes and delve deep into it while you’re working on something non-musical?

Do share your thoughts!

[Moved to Music forum by moderator]


20 replies

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Hi @Archisha Bhar . i can't  use music when i work or i study new things i listen to music just when i have a rest or i drive the car . i don't know how people can listen to music especially high sound music like dj music and metal when they are working or studying .

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I listen to podcasts most of the time(lexfrdiman,stem cell podcast,some podcasts on self driving car and medical imaging) while writing something unimportant and studying I listen to music and also some pryers of a god and most of the time/sometimes some songs from the band “Sanam”.

 

 

It will only be a gift only if you listen music as a friend/as a agent of your lifes catalyst but listening for it for the sake of it will not work.(just becuase others do)

 

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Hi @Archisha Bhar . i can't  use music when i work or i study new things i listen to music just when i have a rest or i drive the car . i don't know how people can listen to music especially high sound music like dj music and metal when they are working or studying .

That’s right, @salahny. Loud or harsh music can be very uncomfortable and disturbing while working. Soothing music can help sometimes, but only if it’s instrumental.

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I listen to podcasts most of the time(lexfrdiman,stem cell podcast,some podcasts on self driving car and medical imaging) while writing something unimportant and studying I listen to music and also some pryers of a god and most of the time/sometimes some songs from the band “Sanam”.

 

 

It will only be a gift only if you listen music as a friend/as a agent of your lifes catalyst but listening for it for the sake of it will not work.(just becuase others do)

 

That’s pretty deep, @Vishwas N :thinking:

@Archisha Bhar , what an excellent thread! Thank you for being so active here. It is such a pleasure to meet someone who enjoys music the way you do. And this is our 200th thread! Congratulations!🎉🎶🎊

There have been studies called “The Mozart Effect” where students listened to Mozart as they did a math exam. A similar group took the same exam without Mozart.The results were incredible. Students who listened to music performed better than those who didn’t. There seemed to be some brain activity that changed when listening to Mozart which stimulated better mathematical thinking.
It became a very important part of bringing up your baby, to play classical music. CD’s were called “Music for Your IQ”, implying that if you bring your child up listening to this music, your child will be smarter..

I brought up 2 sons. One is a musician. They slept in rooms across from one another. One son loved to listen to Bach every night to help him sleep. The musician son would go crazy! He said it was such magnificent music he couldn’t sleep.

I get more annoyed than other people whenever I hear music I dislike in places. For example, when I had physical therapy and they played old what I considered “corny” music it annoyed me and effected my workouts. If I go to a dentist and the music playing is distasteful to me, I will feel extremely agitated. Music that is background music for most, becomes all important to me. And if I am put on “hold” on the phone! Don’t ask! 😂

What I learned is that everyone is different. Some people will find music distracting, others crave it to be productive. There is no doubt that if I have boring household chores to accomplish, when I listen to a Beethoven symphony my house gets cleaner and I forget that I am working hard.

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Thanks for sharing your experience, @Judith. It feels great that the Forum Leader acknowledges my threads. :blush:

You are so lucky to have two sweet sons, and one of them is a musician! You must be a proud parent!

Yes, I have also read about the Mozart Effect. And in general it’s seen that Classical Music is “good for the brain”, so to speak. Then again, as you correctly pointed out, everything depends on the person. Someone might like to listen to Rock or Metal and focus on work, and find Classical boring. It’s all about how the brain receives music. Basically, if it’s something you (or your brain) likes, it’ll be received as something positive.

And yes, what you said about background music - I get so mad when I’m trying to study and somebody has put on some loud and funky music (can’t describe it in words :sweat_smile:) outside, specially if it’s a festival or some other occasion. Volume is a critical factor for me.

We appreciate all kinds of music in our home, that’s a plus point for me. So I don’t stick to one single genre. And music can be appreciated more if the device you’re listening on is of good quality, like Hi-Res. And on top of that, if the music production is good, then there’s nothing like it!

Have a great day!

@Archisha Bhar , acknowledging threads is one of the best reasons to enjoy being a leader here! It’s so wonderful when people like yourself help a forum by posting interesting threads, like this one. We become a closer, more meaningful community this way!

There are many scientific reasons for the effects music has on us. It’s fascinating to think about. Music is vibration , and we respond to vibrations.        I once read about an experiment where plants, in a greenhouse were played various music to see what effects it had on their growth. Classical music had the greatest effect, so perhaps there is much to consider about its benefits to us? Of course, there is a huge range of music considered “classical”, not sure which they chose to play for the plants.

I also read that some pets like music. It was suggested to leave music on when you can’t be home as a comfort for them. I know my cat loved classical music. Whatever room I would have it on, would be the room he chose to be in. 
 

You are right about volume. It can also be dangerous to your hearing if you constantly listen to loud music. Beethoven is fun to listen to because his volume goes from super loud to super soft. I find myself adjusting the volume on his symphonies all the time!🙂

It’s so good that you appreciate music of all kinds.There is so much music to love in this world! I enjoy learning about new music.This forum has introduced me to many kinds of music I might not ever have listened to. Hopefully, others will learn new music here too.
Have a wonderful day!

 

 

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Thanks again, @Judith!

I’m getting inspired by you more and more with each of your replies! You know so much!

Yes, I had also seen a video where two plants in two pots were kept in a school. That was not about music though. The children were told to say kind words to one, but harsh words to the other. And of course, the first one grew into a wonderful plant, but the second one wilted. So I think that it’s the senses that pass through the nerves that affect a living creature. It can be words, music, or just any experience that makes us feel good and motivated!

Regards!

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I like to listen to ambient music like Brian Eno’s Music for Airports or Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies. They’re gentle and dreamy, so I don’t find myself following along to the notes--it’s peaceful background filler. Lately, I’ve been listening to Minecraft C418, Animal Crossing, and Zelda ambient remixes on YouTube as I study SQL server databases. It helps me focus because the school work is so dreary. 

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Those are some wonderful choices, @KateStantonSings. I can play Satie’s Gymnopedie myself on the piano. It’s so relaxing even to play and not only listen.

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@Archisha Bhar I find classical and baroque music lulls me to sleep when I try to study or work, and contrary to most people I find pop songs with foot tapping beat works excellently for me. I get through my lessons and my projects best. Though I do have separate playlists for them and I play them looped.

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Sometimes pop works for me too, @G B. They energize me to work.

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I enjoy any background music, especially those creating a continuous flow.

I recently found that Dark Metal genres paradoxically belongs to this kind.

I agree that music helps a lot at having a diffused view on doing things. 

It’s a phenomenon we studied in the course “Mindshift”

The boundary with real distraction is therefore very thin.

Perhaps any genre is good EXCEPT those that you really love. 

Bye!

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Exactly! “Mindshift”. I had taken that course too, and that’s where I got the idea for this discussion from.

Thanks for your reply, @ATP.

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@Archisha Bhar it’s a great course providing a lot of insights

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

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Correct, @ATP. I hope more learners take this course, or they’ll miss out on a LOT of things.

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@Archisha Bhar Just searched again for my H24 classic music radio! It’s a state-owned frequency, but it’s so tiny that sometimes it’s corrupted by other radio’s and I decide to tune into modern music stations

 

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Good one, @ATP!

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Hi, i usually listen to music when i’m studying or working with my laptop but it has got nothing to do with increasing concentration at all. I listen to music to shut down all other outside noise. I think it’s better to listen to some music rather than the sound of someone talking, the juicer, or any day to day noise. I actually prefer to work in silence but living together with family just doesn’t support that.

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I understand, @Jonathan Ryan. It’s really disturbing when people are speaking while you’re working. It’s very disturbing.

Thanks for tuning in!

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