Power of Music

October 16, 2015
Jihyun Woo  Gretchen Whitney High   11th grade

Jihyun Woo
Gretchen Whitney High
11th grade

It is a common misconception that music can only negatively interfere with people’s functioning processes. Although music is commonly seen as distracting or useless in increasing work productivity, music can actually help boost efficiency by providing a stimulus or a temporary escape for the worker.

Repetitive tasks that require minimal creativity, such as reading e-mails, become very tedious and tiresome very quickly for most people. With an increasing amount of work being done at computers, it has become important to find ways of making mundane tasks such as these more interesting.

It has been found that playing background music while performing these unexciting jobs significantly and positively affects workers’ productivity. The most widely agreed upon explanation for this increased work output is improvement in mood as a result of the playing music.

Music increases the production and release of dopamine, which is a reward chemical in people’s brains, resulting in an improved mood and attitude. Happy workers are more motivated to work and complete their job more quickly than stressed workers.

Music can act as both a catalyst and hindrance. Although it may be exceptionally useful for repetitive work, creative and more complicated work requires a more intense focus that can be impeded by loud music.

A moderate noise level, or ambient noise, is the most useful for increasing creativity. This noise level causes a slight difficulty in processing information, which results in the use of more creative approaches to the task at hand. Songs with distracting lyrics should be avoided when performing this type of work. The words and meanings presented in a song compete for our mind’s attention with the need to do the actual work.

Music with especially high or low tones can also be destructive to creative and more intense focus. A softer sound is most likely to give optimal results.

Although the effects of music on productivity while performing different types of tasks is apparent, scientists are now aiming to take a closer look at the science of this phenomenon, primarily by studying the chemicals involved in the process of listening to music and working. By doing so, they may uncover information that can help workers be more satisfied and industrious in the workplace, leading to a more productive economy and more positive attitudes.

One Comment

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