While certain types of music can induce focus, others may be counterproductive and distracting. In any sense, science has confirmed that music can significantly help cognitive skills such as focus, memory and learning. That is, the right type of music. Luckily, a lot of scientific research has been dedicated to find the connection between music and the brain. Despite all the disagreements in scientific literature relating to this topic, psychologists Dr. Nick Perham from the University of Wales and Dr. Eric Nass from Cambridge University both agree that music has the potential to create the perfect mindset for studying. In other words, there are specific varieties of music that prepare your mind into a balanced state between relaxation and excitement. As a result, you can concentrate on the task at hand without feeling drained or fatigued. So without further ado, here are 5 music tips you should consider to help you focus during that hectic exam week:
- Something you definitely want to keep an eye out for are songs timed at 60 beats-per-minute. Clinical trials have found that music recorded at 60 beats-per-minute increases focus, concentration, and memory recall. The reason is because this frequency benefits brain synchronization and allows the brain to enter the alpha wave state. As a result, anxiety levels are reduced and we feel more relaxed.
- The Sound of Nature
Musicologists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have found that sounds of nature help to enhance mood, increase concentration and even reduce stress. The exact mechanism by which this works remains unclear, but there is an immense amount of data available to confirm these findings.
Try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFTSSKCzWA or calmsound.com
- Keep it in the background
Loud music can be distracting and will take away your focus from the task at hand. Instead, keep it in the background and make sure your eyes stay glued to that book.
Classical music is more powerful than you may think. In a research study conducted in a French university and published in Learning and Individual Differences, students who listened to a one-hour lecture where classical music was played in the background performed better on a quiz than those who did not hear any music. Scientists have suggested that this occurs because the “music put students in a heightened emotional state, making them more receptive to information”. Classical music is also a great way to relax, reduce anxiety levels and keep those exam jitters to the minimum.
- Truth: It Depends on You
Despite all these tips, certain psychologists have concluded that the ‘best’ type of music to increase productivity entirely depends on the individual. In other words, if listening to Dr. Dre’s album is your thing, then perhaps Mozart just won’t do the trick for you.