It has always been ‘known’ that listening to music affects the brain, in particular, mood and concentration and there have even been claims that it can increase intelligence. While the latter remains debatable, in recent years several research studies have indicated that certain types of music do indeed affect different parts of the brain, enhancing concentration and the ability to process information, leading to improved performance in activities such as tests.
Interested? You should be. Last year, a UK-based Clinical Psychologist, Dr Emma Gray, was commissioned by Spotify, the music streaming service, to conduct research into whether listening to music produced measurable improvements in test performance and whether different types of music improved performance in different subjects. The research results indicated a conservative 10 – 12% boost in performance, meaning that students studying for tests could potentially raise their performance by a whole grade i.e. a ‘B minus‘ to a ‘B’; an ‘A minus’ to an ’A’. In addition it appears to be true that different music improves performance in specific subjects. Curious?
In her article ‘Mind Your Body’, writing for the Strait Times in Singapore, Joyce Teo comments on Spotify’s press release which publicised Dr Gray’s research findings. The article includes a suggested playlist to suit different study disciplines such as maths, science, languages and humanities. There’s surely nothing for you to lose and a lot to be gained by ‘giving it a go’.