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Music and the Brain | Does Background Music Affect Retention

There is no doubt that music affects all of us. It can bring us to the edge of our seats or ignite powerful emotions that we had no idea existed. The question that has been raised over the years, however, is — is there a connection between background music and how we perform various tasks? Can the association help students study more effectively? In a society where music is everywhere around us, it is important for teachers, parents, and students to understand the benefits and drawbacks involved. In this article, we explore the possible benefits and challenges of background music when studying.

What are the Theories behind Musical Arousal?

Several theories have been cited to explain the possible connection between music and its impact on the brain. A common one is based on the Yerkes-Dobson principle, which indicates that the arousal levels of a person increases his or her performance only until that level where over-arousal results in diminishing performance. When this principle is applied to the context of background music, it implies that anyone has a level of optimal arousal at which he or she will effectively perform specific tasks. Music can facilitate the attainment of that level. It is also important to note that the level of optimal arousal varies according to the complexity of the task.

An alternate theory that has been suggested by scholars is that music merely helps students to study by helping them to focus their attention and ignore noise and other distractions in the environment. Listening to music results in the decrease of alpha waves and an increase in beta waves. The outcome is an additional attending activity by the brain. If you are completely unable to work on your assignments because you lack motivation, consider hiring an essay writer online.

Music also affects brain activity through mood management. According to this theory, people are motivated to make entertainment choices that will allow them to terminate or diminish negative moods and improve good moods. In other words, your choice of music helps to enhance, initiate, or extend good moods. Going by these three theoretical positions music carefully selected by the student or teacher can enhance arousal, mood, and focus, both within and outside the classroom.

What Are the Positive Effects of Background Music?

One of the hottest debate subjects over the years has been whether students actually gain by listening to music as they study. Some scholars argue that intervention programs for children with learning difficulties could help them to relax and build esteem. According to research classical music are very effective can calm students who are overly active, while arousing those who are disinterested or sleepy.

A few conclusions can be drawn from the outcomes of such studies. First, music does seem to have an impact on various categories of task performance. However, the specific impact is shaped by various factors, including the music type, the environment, and the personality of the individual. The second conclusion is that, for music to affect particular tasks, it must suit the goals of the task. In an academic setting, for instance, instrumental and soft music can improve time on task, behavior, accuracy of math and reading, and speed of problem completion. Please understand, however, that certain music types can have adverse effects in academic settings. This is mostly if the music is played too loudly.

Music also makes life infinitely more fun. While the debate is ongoing on the benefits of music for students, there is no doubt that it helps to make life easy. University life becomes more fun and memorable as a result. Furthermore, listening to music has been shown to result in the release of dopamine, which makes people feel motivated, more relaxed, and happier.

Music enhances visualization. Evidence suggests that classical music enhances spatial-temporal reasoning and lessens anxiety. These are critical when studying for major exams, where anxiety can inhibit the intake and retention of material.

Music is also an exercise for your brain. You have undoubtedly heard about the significance of working out. However, what is rarely mentioned is the significance of exercising the brain. There are several ways in which you can care for your brain, including by solving puzzles, reading, and writing. Listening to music, however, remains one of the most effective and convenient to get your brain active.

Music is also associated with improved memory recall, both in the long-term and short-term and can help with stress management. Studying at university can be quite stressful, especially given the sheer amount of work you will be required to complete in terms of assignments. Listening to music is an incredible stress reliever.

Music can offer amazing escape without having to leave your room. It also enhances concentration and memory recall. Of course, there are other aspects to consider as you prepare to study, including the physical environment and your preparation. Make sure to play your music in low volume.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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