Effects of Music on the Mind and Body

Topics: Music, Baroque music, Psychology Pages: 5 (1854 words) Published: November 10, 2011
Effects of Music on The Mind And Body

Effects of Music On The Mind and Body
Music is all around. It is in on the radio, it is in the streets, it is on television, and basically everywhere! With so many musical devices that are being invented and upgraded it is almost impossible to avoid it. There are tons of different genres from rock and roll to classical. But the question is: How does music affect the brain? Everyday high school students get home, grab a snack and something to drink, and turn on a television or radio. Many students may have the intentions to study or finish their homework but they are even more concerned about what is on television or that hot new song that is on the radio. Most students know that it is distracting but they just lose their motivation and procrastinate about schoolwork. Students are constantly exposed to music and television, so they may feel uncomfortable when they are not exposed to some sort of distraction. So is music harmful to the brain, or does it merely enhance the mind’s cognitive process? According to Bellezza , committing information to memory is important in the early stages of learning something new, therefore, it is essential for students to be able to work in an environment conducive to learning. Can students effectively remember what they have learned when they study while listening to music? If students insist upon listening to music while studying, can any type of music actually enhance learning, and is any type of music particularly harmful to learning and memory? Banbury, Macken, Tremblay, and Jones reviewed the body of literature relating to audio distraction and short-term memory (STM). Irrelevant sounds were especially disruptive when a sequence of changing sounds was played. The most important conclusion of the review seems to be that the effect of irrelevant noise depended on whether or not remembering items in a particular order in the memory task was important. Irrelevant sounds tended to greatly disrupt ongoing recall but had a minimal effect on free recall. Salame and Baddeley also looked at the effects of noise, particularly music, on STM. They compared the effects of vocal and instrumental music on STM. Participants were asked to remember number sequences while either vocal or instrumental music played in the background. They were asked to focus on the numbers rather than on the music. Recall was better for participants who listened to the instrumental music that for participants who listened to vocal music. The words to the music distracted the participants, but instrumental music was not distracting. In an experiment that took place in a more academic setting by Tucker and Bushman , it was correctly hypothesized that rock and roll music has a detrimental effect on mathematical, verbal and reading comprehension. They administered portions of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Test (ACT) to students in two groups; one group listened to rock and roll music, while another took the test in silence. It was found that rock and roll music worsened mathematical and verbal abilities, but had no impact on reading comprehension. Not only can music serve as a distraction, but it can also produce anxiety in students facing a cognitive task. Smith and Morris studied the effects of music on test performance. They used the Digits Backward test, (participants read numbers in order and then backwards then try to say/write them in order), to assess performance in participants who were exposed to stimulating music, sedative music, or no music. Music was played as participants acquainted themselves with the numbers in the test. It was found that listening to stimulating music increased emotionality and performance concern among participants who were exposed to stimulating music compared with participants who were exposed to sedative music. Participants in the stimulating music condition performed the worst. Participants who...

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