Most of us listen to music at some point during the day – having some background noise can help lift our mood or perhaps just be a welcome distraction.
You may have noticed that you tend to pick different types of music based on what you’re doing, and there’s good reason for this; studies have shown that different genres of music can have different physiological effects.
It’s no big surprise then, that we’re drawn to a particular style of music depending on the task in hand. Whether you’re studying, working out or creating your latest masterpiece, we’ve compiled the best types of music to listen to depending on the task at hand. Read on to ensure you get the most enjoyment and maximum benefit from your Panasonic Headphones.
Boosting Brain Power
If you need your mind to be razor sharp for an exam or complex task, classical music is the way to go. Several studies over the years have shown that listening to classical music enhances brain activity, in what has long been dubbed the “Mozart Effect.” One such study from the University of Helsinki found that listening to Mozart’s 20-minute long ‘Violin Concerto No. 3′ increased participants’ synaptic function, as well as increasing activity of genes responsible for learning and memory.
Another impressive study from the University of California found that listening to ten minutes of Mozart’s ‘Sonata for Two Pianos in D major’ improved participants’ abilities to perform spatial tasks, while researchers in France discovered that students who listened to an hour of classical music during a lecture performed significantly better when tested on the information given in the lecture, compared to those who heard it without the background music.
There are several theories as to why classical music helps enhance brain power. It could be because this type of music puts us in a heightened emotional state, or it may be something to do with the claim that classical music reduces systolic blood pressure. Mozart’s pieces specifically are thought to use patterns that mirror the rhythmic cycles in the human brain, helping to stimulate cognitive function.
Working on a painting or another creative task? You might want to give high tempo music a go. Research has found that music with between 50 and 80 beats a minute can actually help get your creative juices flowing. Spotify teamed up with cognitive researchers to put this theory to the test and found that listening to high tempo music actually put the brain into an alpha state. Why is this important? Well, it means that our brain activity slows and we’re able to focus more on tasks that require imagination and intuition – ideal for coming up with your next big idea.
There are often times where we need a little more focus, both at work and at home. If you need a bit of extra help to concentrate, try putting together a playlist of nature sounds. Things like crashing waves and rainfall work best – think soothing, relaxing noises rather than anything that might be distracting. A study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute backed up these claims, whereby researchers found that employees had improved concentration and were more productive when they listened to sounds from nature as they carried out their work.
Need a little lift while going for a run or psyching yourself up before a job interview? Try listening to your favourite songs. Research from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music you are particularly fond of is likely to create a more emotional response from you, which in turn helps to release more dopamine. This chemical is important for those feelings of motivation and reward, as well as helping to boost overall mood. The university study found that participants who listened to their favourite music while completing different tasks did so more efficiently than those who did not.
When it comes to choosing music to help improve your memory, it’s classical music that comes out on top again. We’ve already mentioned the ‘Mozart Effect’, and it turns out that researchers have also discovered a ‘Vivaldi Effect’. A study from Trevecca Nazarene University set out to test this claim. Participants were given the task of turning over cards to find matching pairs while listening to either rap, classical music, or silence. The group who listened to classical music managed to complete the task much quicker than the others, suggesting there is indeed a link between classical music and short-term memory.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
If you’re in need of some music to help you wind down at night, choose pieces that feature Indian, Celtic, or Native American string instruments or flutes; all proven to help aid relaxation and calm the mind. Nature sounds can also work, along with easy listening or classical music. The ultimate stress-reducing song, however, has been named as ‘Weightless’, by the band Marconi Union. The group actually collaborated with sound therapists in order to pen the track, which was designed to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The song is so effective that researchers have warned against listening to it whilst driving.
A Better Listening Experience
If you’re looking to get the full benefit from your music choice, headphones are usually a good idea. They offer a much more immersive experience, allowing you to fully focus and enjoy your music without outside distractions. Of course, better quality headphones will offer a better listening experience, with improved sound quality, a more comfortable fit, and materials and often extra features. If you’d like to be totally submerged in the music, opt for models with noise cancelling, such as the S500W true wireless earbuds. Originally designed for pilots to wear on long haul flights, noise cancelling headphones block out external sounds, giving you the ultimate listening experience.