It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most youngsters prefer learning while listening to their MP3 players. Whether revising for exams with Pink Floyd or reviewing academic papers with Imagine Dragons, visit a school library and most students there will listen to their favorite jams there.
Why do they do that? For most adults, that doesn’t make any sense. Why do those who are engaged with a few activities simultaneously seem to be more concentrated, not less? Many youngsters even claim that not listening to their MP3 players while studying is more distracting for them. So, what does such a tendency stand for?
We don’t fully understand why our brain likes music so much. What attracts our interest the most is the fact that our brain prefers just certain musical properties. There is evidence indicating that people experience more pleasure when listening to music with moderate levels of syncopation. In plain English, this means that for music to be enjoyed by people, it should be trashy, but not too much funky. Why does music help youngsters to focus on their study better, though?
MP3 players Improve Students’ Attention Span
Even though our brain has developed numerous incredible abilities, it still fails to concentrate on one thing for a prolonged period. In fact, people have two attention systems which make us focus on different things: a conscious one, which makes us concentrate on the things we are intended to focus on, and an unconscious one, which switches our attention to anything else that our brain finds to be essential.
The latter system is more about our emotions than reasoning. It also reacts faster than its counterpart. So, when students sitting quietly in the classroom hear a loud noise coming from outside, they pay attention to it long before that even find out what it comes from. In fact, they cannot help but turn their heads towards the windows.
The thing is, while our conscious system is concentrated on one thing, its counterpart continues to operate, checking for anything that might be important for us. And when students are involved in a dull task, which makes them bored, so that they have to force their attention to stay focused on it, the unconscious system becomes more active. As a result, students are very likely to switch their attention even to negligible distractions.
“All office workers will tell you that it is difficult for them to focus on their tasks when others are constantly snuffling, sipping their drinks, or crisping their fingers. Even discreet noise can frustrate these people when they are involved in something that doesn’t bring them any pleasure, – claims Emily Johns, a report writer at Pro-Papers. In similar situations, listening to an MP3 player can do the trick! Soft-core jams conjure pleasant sensations, which neutralize the activity of the unconscious attention system and thus make us more concentrated.
What Music to Play in the Classroom?
Even though it is proved that music helps to concentrate better, not all jams can keep distractions away. Many organizations broadcast pink noise around their offices expecting to increase workers’ concentration and thus enhance gross productivity. But very few insist on the effectiveness of this method.
It becomes clearer that the type of music matters. And it is not a big leap of imagination to understand that those, who usually listen to classical jams, will not benefit from heavy metal. While different genres of music cause different responses in our brain (while some make us dance, others invite aggression), it is believed that personal preference is a determining factor.
Youngsters listening to the tracks they like are more focused than when listening to the ones they don’t like. Since there is a huge diversity of preferences varying from one person to another, exposing a classroom to a single genre of music will not bring any successful outcomes at the end of the day. Therefore, allowing kids to use MP3 players for listening to their favorite jams while studying sounds like a plan.
Video Game Songs can be a Good Option Too
Many youngsters claim the best songs for concentration are those from their favorite video games. In fact, this makes good sense, if you take into account the main idea behind this type of music: developers use this music to create an immersive virtual atmosphere for gamers that still doesn’t distract them from their mission.
Remember those simplistic motives from the well-liked Mario? Back then, limitations in the technologies haven’t allowed developers to use something more complex. In truth, to become pleasant and yet not distracting, video soundtracks have been enhanced over the years. The musicians have probably unwittingly been influencing the brains of gamers for decades.
Nevertheless, as techs progress, game producers start to abandon this type of music in favor of anything from pop jams to classical masterpieces. Their main purpose is to select music which has a stimulating effect but still doesn’t act like a distracter.
In a nutshell, MP3 players can become real concentration helpers for students, and this is a proved fact. For the youngsters, it is not that hard to choose the right music that really works as it may seem from the first glace. What they should consider, when choosing one, is their personal preferences and its stimulating effect. While for some, this is pop music, others will benefit more from orchestral one, and so forth. Look for free mp3 download alternatives and enjoy!