Music affects your emotional state more profoundly than other forms of auditory input, and has been used for thousands of years as a method of relaxation and a call to action. The strident blasts of the trumpet, the pulsating beat of a drum, the elevating crescendo of an orchestral sonata are all sounds that inspire an emotional and physical response. Soothing and relaxing sounds are often prescribed as the ideal sonic backdrop to induce sleep at the end of a tiring day. However, can music improve your productivity at work?
The Case for Music
Researchers at the music therapy program at the University of Miami claim that music can help office workers break the monotony and bring focus to wandering minds. A study involving a control group from the IT industry reveals that workers who listen to music are far more focused and creative, as well as demonstrate an improved quality of ideation. Another study by neuropsychologists at Mindlab International reveals that music can also boost optimism and a positive emotional state—a powerful catalyst to creating a productive and happy workplace. However, music can be detrimental to memorization and reading comprehension as it distracts the mind from active absorption of concepts.
Choosing the Music that Moves You
Choosing the right type of music is essential to enhancing the right type of productivity. Classical music has been shown to improve a person’s productivity when engaged in analytical or mathematical tasks. Overall, western classical music has been shown to improve overall accuracy. Pop music and dance music are ideal for speed and accuracy for non-analytical data entry tasks. Electronic or traditional dance music has been shown to improve problem-solving skills and proofreading abilities. Atmospheric and ambient music are believed to be the best accompaniment when you are solving equations. Listening to music without lyrics—instrumental music—is said to improve cognitive abilities as compared to lyrics set to music. Steady and predictable music such as EDM or even instrumental heavy metal has been shown to have a calming yet focusing effect because the brain does not need to expend energy predicting the sounds ahead.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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