Hidden Impacts Behind Music

Joseph Park, News Writer

How often do you move your body to the beat and sing the lyrics to your favorite song? What many people do not realize is music impacts every individual differently while doing work.

The benefits from music while working is evident only in some activities. Mr. Jackson, music teacher, said, “work like math or writing” is greatly enhanced through music.

This phenomenon has been proven through scientific studies. Known as the ‘Mozart Effect’, the subjects in this test improved spatial-temporal reasoning when listening to Mozart, a skill that helps mathematical and scientific thinking.

However in reading, the music “distracts from the organization of the reading” said Mr. Jackson.

When you are reading while answering the phone, you can imagine saying whatever is on the book you are reading or being too focused on the book that you forget you are in a call. Our brain tries to sync the noises in our head with what we are reading. However, when the song we listen to has erratic changes to syncopation, tone and speed, the brain cannot synchronize the information from both sources.

As much as one’s surrounding can influence their work, music can be a burden when trying to have one definite focus on a task. Sophomore, Nicole Wang’s reason for abstaining from listening to music is because the music she listens to has lyrics that distract her.

In can be inferred that the environment in which the student works greatly affects their efficiency or performance.

The school environment provides students with peers that will work with them. Matthew Lee, freshman, states that someone next to him who is working would help each other indirectly. He also goes on to say that at times at pressure, like before exams, the stress in the environment drives him to continue.  

Mr. Jackson prefers to “go to a coffee shop”, where “usually there are a lot of people having little chit-chat where there are working on something. That really is an environment that I can work well in”.

What a coffee place has to offer from other locations is its consistent noise levels. People talking in the background, the slurping of coffee and the clanking of cups all contribute to a natural background noise.

It comes down to how the brain handles noise. If the brain can’t divert the noise, the individual would find the environment distracting. As if their brain is hijacked, proper cognitive performance is slowed.

Neuroscientists still have a lot to uncover about the brain with results regarding this topic showing a dispute between experiments. For now, everyone has different preferences to their work environment. From office cubicles to park benches, the places for work are limitless.