If you like to read, chances are you’ll have often wondered about the effects that listening to music has on your reading.
Whether you are staunchly for or against this type of multi-tasking – this is a debate that everyone has an opinion on.
While some insist that reading is an almost sacred activity, which should be conducted in silence to allow you to fully enter the story, and absorb all of the author’s intentions, many others insist that music can greatly enhance the music-making experience and make it all the more immersing.
What the science says
As you can see on Mind the Science Gap, a University of Wales study actually found that music served as a distraction when attempting to recall a series of items. The issue here, however, is that reading is not a dry, logical process, and this study does not really seem to address that side of the debate.
The study was backed up by another, however, which seemed to imply that whether background music was beneficial or not varied heavily from person to person.
The website also cites another study, which suggests that the lyrics may well be the issue, and that instrumental background music has been shown to improve performance.
Elsewhere, this Independent article also suggests that lyric-free music is the way to go.
Across the internet, from our own research, and from personal experience, the consensus seems to be that, if you want to improve your concentration, you should ditch your pop hits and find something with a repetitive beat and a warm electronic feel.
But who’s right?
While there’s no shortage of opinions on this matter, and there’s science to support both arguments, in truth it simply comes down to each individual’s preference.
The people who write-off music as a distraction, may be talking from their own experience, but I, and countless others could argue that it sounds like they’ve never experienced the groove that a good song can help you get into while reading.
Even while working, listening to good music can help you enter a state of flow, which is incredibly productive, and I know that whenever I’m writing or studying – a good soundtrack is an essential ingredient, and really helps to keep the momentum high.
It’s also especially useful if you’re doing a boring task – as it simply gives you a little treat to enjoy, while you get busy. Of course, you have to be able to immerse yourself in the task, however, and not get distracted flicking through your favourite songs.
If you are going to listen to music aim to keep it at a low volume, and choose some songs that are lyric three. Conveniently, if you’re looking for some good background music, which will really help you focus, we have plenty of choice for you here at GBM Music! These tracks have been designed to boost concentration, and really enhance your reading experience, without distracting you from the task at hand.