Stay Classy


| 4 Comments
The other night, I was writing a paper for my English 15 class, and I found myself getting stuck. To cure my writers block, I thought that I would listen to some classical music to make me feel smarter and more sophisticated and that would make me a better writer. And after I put this music on, I started banging out this paper like it was nobody's business. I've always heard that classical music is good for studying and can help your brain juices flow, but I've never known why exactly this happens.
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Listening to music causes higher levels of serotonin to be released in our brains, which causes us to feel happier and lessens feelings of tension. Listening to classical music with complex rhythms and melodies helps to improve our reasoning and short term memory. This phenomenon is most commonly known as the Mozart effect. Classical music from the baroque period is the best example of this. The 60 beats per minute beat pattern affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves. It also affects our breathing rate and electrical resistance of the skin, which then in turn makes our pupils dilate as well as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This allows us to be able to concentrate more easily because music stimulates the left and right sides of the brain at the same time. Many researchers believe that because the music and spatial abilities share the same pathway in the brain, that is why it results in a better short turn memory.

There is some skepticism in the science community as to whether or not the Mozart effect really does work or not. While some studies that have been done show that it does work, others have had negative results. I think that the results can depend on the person, as well as what type of work that they are trying to concentrate on. What do you think?




4 Comments

And here I was thinking I was the only one! I'm not lying when I say I'm addicted to the "Study" playlist on Fratmusic that consists solely of Vivaldi, Mozart and that one classical but eerie song from the movie Inception. I know my mother always played classical music in the car with me, so I wonder if the more you listen to it as a child, the more it helps you focus on tasks in later life.
I thought it was interesting that one specific type of classical music, specifically from the Baroque period, was more helpful than other types of classical music. You reference that this is because of the beats per minute, but I wonder if the type and number of instruments that play over the course of each piece has an effect.
I think that the more we utilize the supposed Mozart effect, the better. Andrew often asks us "Would it be logical for you to try x activity based on this study?" on many of the class exams and pop quizzes. In the case of this study, there is very little harm to trying it out. It is inexpensive and not harmful to health, so why not put classical music on during study hours at a school with low test scores and see what happens? There is certainly nothing to lose and I'm sure the results would be fascinating.

And here I was thinking I was the only one! I'm not lying when I say I'm addicted to the "Study" playlist on Fratmusic that consists solely of Vivaldi, Mozart and that one classical but eerie song from the movie Inception. I know my mother always played classical music in the car with me, so I wonder if the more you listen to it as a child, the more it helps you focus on tasks in later life.
I thought it was interesting that one specific type of classical music, specifically from the Baroque period, was more helpful than other types of classical music. You reference that this is because of the beats per minute, but I wonder if the type and number of instruments that play over the course of each piece has an effect.
I think that the more we utilize the supposed Mozart effect, the better. Andrew often asks us "Would it be logical for you to try x activity based on this study?" on many of the class exams and pop quizzes. In the case of this study, there is very little harm to trying it out. It is inexpensive and not harmful to health, so why not put classical music on during study hours at a school with low test scores and see what happens? There is certainly nothing to lose and I'm sure the results would be fascinating.

A part of me believes that this may simply be a placebo effect, but more power to you. Whatever helps you work best. However, from my personal experiences I've learned to steer clear of my usual habits of listening to hip hop. I've noticed that the heavy sounds that hip hop produces tends to distract me and disrupt my cognitive processes. However, I'll quickly change the song to something lighter on the ears and I immediately see differences in my productivity. Like I said, it could possibly be a placebo effect, but as long as it works there's no issue.

Classical music is one of the best ways to study. It's like you get enveloped in a world that isn't like the one we live in today! I always get a huge rush of inspiration when I listen to classical music while studying, or even writing a paper.

Does the Mozart effect work with other types of music besides classical? I know that bands like Explosions in the Sky, the Vitamin String Quartet tributes...as well as traditional classical music help me crank out papers and study better.

Would listening to classical music before a huge sports game have the same effect on people? Would it give them a rush of inspiration, or would it make their performance worse? Do different types of music have different effects on us? Is there a genre of music proven to make us do worse on tests/exams/papers?

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