Do you play music while you work or write?
As I sat at work today listening to classical National Public Radio (NPR), one piece caught my attention. It had a high excitable tempo that later turned to a calming section. Later I caught myself moving to the rhythm of a piano as I typed, sometimes even typing in data to the rhythm of the music.
I’ve heard that music is closely linked to math. Rhythm organizes our brain…or something like that.
There definitely is something to music. I’ve found it to be healing. Once, I was at a conference and as the day wore on, I got a migraine. I was dreading my next workshop, but I went anyway. It was a workshop on Using Music with Children (from my child development days). I got there ten minutes early and walked into a room where classical music was playing. I sat down and closed my eyes. By the time the instructor began, my headache was completely gone. The music had worked out all the kinks in my poor head.
I used to need complete silence to work (to focus), but I’ve changed my mind. I like having music in the background now. It is soothing and it makes me happy. I think it does help my productivity as well (and that might be because my spirits are lifted).
All this was running through my mind today, so I looked up “music while you work studies” on the internet and I found an article and some selected quotes that I’d like to share:
“Research from University of Windsor in Canada showed the effect of music on the work performance of software developers. According to the study, without background music the designers’ quality of work was lowest and it took them more time to complete tasks. With background music, participants reported positive mood change and enhanced perception while working. Plus, the researchers noted that this positive change in mood correlated with increased curiosity — an excellent thing to have when doing creative work.”
“The type of music you listen to also matters. In a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy, excitative music tends to increase feelings of vigor and tension, while sedative music eased tension. That may be stating the obvious, but here’s the interesting part: Listening to your favorite type of music, whatever it is, lowers your perception of tension. This means you don’t feel as stressed or tense. But your heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure is higher when listening to excitative music — even if you like it.”
So, do you listen to music while you work or write? If so, what kind of music?