Does music help you concentrate?

by tmoby
38 replies
I've always believed music is distraction when you're trying to work. Through school everyone always listened to music while doing any kind of work.

I went to school for animation and I always believed Milt Kahl (one of Disneys nine old men) when he said "I'm not smart enough to do two things at once".

You may be surprised at the increase in quality and efficiency your work may have without music.

I know most people say "I can't work without background noise" "I just have a crazy ADD mind and need to be doing 10 things at once!", and while that may be true in certain cases, you should definitely at least try working without it!

Who know's, maybe you'll like it!
#concentrate #music
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    I've been composing my own music lately and listening to the beats that I produce. I do find that it helps me to focus some.
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  • Profile picture of the author Austin357
    I have some very inspiring music on in the background and it does get me in the right mindset. It's not for everyone as others can find it to be distracting.
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  • If working on a document that requires deep thought and focus, then it helps to keep the music off at times, however when producing music related product then the headphones and speakers are usually turned up
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  • Profile picture of the author SanjeevM
    Originally Posted by tmoby View Post

    I've always believed music is distraction when you're trying to work.
    Same with me. I work much better without music and other background noise.

    Milt Kahl probably hit the nail on the head with his aversion to multitasking. Actually, I've read reports of more than one study that said humans are not built for multitasking.

    I guess primitive cavemen did not have to deal with other issues when they were hunting or being hunted! And that brain wiring is still inside our heads today.

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  • Profile picture of the author WilliamBlah
    Music keeps me driven and focussed while I am working.

    If I have to do something that requires a lot of concentration, I tend to switch towards instrumental music - particularly drone ambient or post rock sort of music. I hardly even notice it is on, but I feel like it keeps my brain ticking over!

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  • Profile picture of the author GT
    Looks like many of us are the same: when we need to concentrate, the music goes off!

    Other times, I do find music to be either stimulating or soothing or just a great mood-booster.


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  • Profile picture of the author simon25i
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    • Profile picture of the author arny660
      If I am working on something that needs a lot of concentration, I absolutely hate music in the background. I find it to be such a distraction. I would hate to work in a shop that played music all day long, or worse still, work in a shop that had the radio on all day.

      I also have a problem with people playing music whilst driving. I really feel that this is a distraction and causes quite a lot of accidents. Of course, this is just my opinion - most of my friends would disagree with me on this - they coudn't drive 100 yards without the music on!

      Good Luck,

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      • Profile picture of the author Jarvis Edwards
        I find music in the background a distraction unless I am doing a mundane or repetitive task that doesn't take much thinking or creativity. Rarely, I will play music until I get in "the vibe," then I'll turn it off and start working in my flow.

        I did find, however, that binaural beats and isochronic tones (Alpha and Theta tones) playing in the background work WONDERS for concentration, focus, intuition, learning and more!
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  • Profile picture of the author pianochris
    Providing it it is the right style it can help you brain work more effectively, strides have proven this without doubt. In addition, music assets with a variety of other senses which is why it is played in restaurants, shops, clubs etc
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  • Profile picture of the author Long Beach Nathan
    I love music so much that it's definitely a distraction. I usually don't play any while I'm trying to get things done.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheeBook
    This is 100% helps me a lot in concentrating my mind. It makes me energy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lakers140
    I listen to classical music when I work its really stimulating

    I couldn't not listen to music - I'd get way too bored
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    For me, no. I find music useful for getting into the right frame of mind, but I cannot bear background music: either, I am listening to it or I am not. If I am working, it is simply a distraction.

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  • Profile picture of the author IMBotz
    When I am reading I find it distracting sometimes.

    But when I am coding, I almost always listen to music!
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  • Profile picture of the author zarabetche
    Maybe it just depends with what you are doing. I always find music motivating.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobbieT
    Some music helps you to remember things HOWEVER I think it needs to be at 60 beats per minute.

    The Russians used it to help their secret agents learn languages quickly.

    I just find that music in the background is a distraction, but that's just me.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dawn Wise
    I find music or any kinds of sounds to be distracting when I am working.
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  • Profile picture of the author buckeyes09
    I'm a huge fan of music. But need specific genres, depending on the task(s) at hand.


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  • sometimes it can.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy_UK
    I never listen to music while I work, If anything I listen to the BBC world news on TV.
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  • Profile picture of the author themetribe
    There are those who are music lovers that can concentrate in something they do while working on some important matters (making a blog or coding a wp theme). But some are distracted especially when they are listening to a music while coding.

    Habituation - this is the practice technique you can develop. It is a method that uses your brain to make everything a background while focusing on something more important.

    Just a thought.

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  • Profile picture of the author JonathanL
    Concentration and a quiet environment go hand in hand for me. If there's any noise in the background my focus is lost. When I want to relax or to get pumped up while working out, however, then there's nothing better than listening to my Ipod.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOLee
    Originally Posted by Young And Opulent View Post

    Its been proven that baroque classical music is good for helping you concentrate. I can say that its true from my own experience.
    OMG, I put this on when you said. I haven't felt so relaxed and calm while doing all these orders and handling with arsey clients. Just downloaded a couple cds lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremiah L
    music helps me get into the mood. Yes it helps me to focus on one thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will78
    I think this is something that differs from person to person and from genre to genre.

    For myself I can say that listening to some classical music, some decent ambient music or relaxed deep house never fails to help me getting concentrated, while more aggressive stuff or mere silence definitley do.
    Guess I just need the right amount of background distraction
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  • Profile picture of the author Spinna
    The only type of music that helps me concentrate is one that doesn't have any lyrics.. Jazz, classical, tech, house..
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Perry
    Personally, I get bored when I don't listen to music. Music is a huge part of my life and always, always have some playing in the background. If I am working, I usually put on some light house music or mellow alternative rock. Without music I get bored and even more distracted. To each is own I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author megaquests
    Originally Posted by Young And Opulent View Post

    Its been proven that baroque classical music is good for helping you concentrate. I can say that its true from my own experience.
    yea, Brian Tracey has been saying that for years..
    i find it works.. but depends on the type of baroque... some of it is beautiful and i find some not so much so : ))
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  • Profile picture of the author messiah
    Ambient or world music works really well for concentration, especially at low levels. Anything else may invoke a foot tap... which turns into a tap on the desk... then a fill... and then...

    That's when the sticks come out!
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  • Profile picture of the author Burton Lancaster
    Music definitely keeps the good vibe going and the mind moving forward. I enjoy bands like "The Quantic Soul Orchestra" to keep the neurons firing.
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  • Profile picture of the author psufootball
    It depends on how challenging the project is. If it's something requires great concentration then I can't work (or at least, work productively) in any condition less than absolute silence. However, if it's something boring or tedious, something that just "needs to be done sooner or later", then music greatly helps me get through it. It adds a sort of "fun" factor to the work, at least there's something interesting going on as you're doing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikeac
    Music definitely puts me in the right state of mind to work hard but it has to be the right genre of music. I usually put on Ambient/Lounge music found on iTunes radio. I find that im always relaxed when im listening to this.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoRoth
    i can't listen to music when i read. that's the only time I can't listen to music. but i have playlists i've made which get me into the zone, for when i write, workout, do graphic design, pretty much anything else...
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    • Profile picture of the author value added
      I work more and faster without music but from time to time, I listen to Beethoven or Mozart while doing boring tasks.
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  • Profile picture of the author icegin
    It really depends on what I'm doing. If I'm trying to read a book or something, I find music to be quite distracting. But otherwise music is quite stimulating for me -- especially if I'm doing something creative.
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  • Profile picture of the author sabreena

    I listen the classic music i love this that is great.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Simon Ashari
    I am one who cannot work if there is music.

    Can only do one thing at a time.
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