I love to listen to music while I work, but I’m careful to choose which type to listen to. I know that music has a profound effect on how my subconscious is working and can affect my mood. Sometimes I even change the type of music to parallel the type of client that I’m working on. I feel it helps to “get me in the mood” for a certain type of project and can affect my results.
Are you’re looking at the screen with skepticism? Well, here are a few facts that may surprise you.
We are primitively affected by music because of its rhythm. Our bodies have their own rhythm, from our heartbeat and breathing patterns to how we walk and blink. It’s only natural that we would respond to the rhythm of music around us.
Also the type of music that we listen to has an important affect on our performance and bodily response. Classical music from the baroque period causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music. As the body becomes relaxed and alert, the mind is able to concentrate more easily. Furthermore it has been proven that, baroque music decreases blood pressure and enhances the ability to learn. Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves, which can be measured by an electro-encephalogram. Music also affects breathing rate and electrical resistance of the skin. According to The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by using this 60 beats per minute music.
Negatively, music can have an effect on the mind that we might not have thought of. A key element to music’s affect is the order in the music being the same or different. The brain works by looking at different pieces of information and deciding if they are different or the same. This is done in music of the baroque and classical periods by playing a theme and then repeating or changing the theme. The repetition is only done once. More than one repetition causes the music to become displeasing, and also causes a person to either enter a state of subconscious thinking or a state of anger. The human mind can shut down after three or four repetitions of a rhythm, a melody or a harmonic progression. Furthermore, excessive repetition causes people to release control of their thoughts. Rhythmic repetition is normally used by people who are trying to push certain ethics in their music. Think about that the next time you want to turn on that catchy tune while you work!
In researching for this blog I found out a lot of stuff that I didn’t know about music’s affect on brain function and performance. For the next two weeks, I’m going to listen to nothing but classical music while I work, and I’m going to record my findings. Look out for the results in my part two of this blog!