Growing up I never really listened to music, it never really even crossed my mind to listen to it. Still to this day I never listen to classical music. Throughout middle school and high school though teachers would give us work to do or during an exam they would put on classical music in the background and I never really understood why. I always wondered if classical music actually had a benefit in your performance, whether that be on a test or just on the work you were given?
A University in France did some research and found that the students who were in a one hour lecture where there was classical music playing softly in the background perform much better than those who sit in the lecture not containing the music. Following both of the lectures, the students were given a quiz that pertained to the information in the previous lecture and the students in the lecture with the music performed substantially better on the quiz then those not in the lecture. The music was thought to motivate the students to focus and changed their emotional state. Thus reflected upon their better results on the quiz.
There was also research done by Duke University’s cancer institute that showed that classical music can have benefits in decreasing anxiety. In this study subjects who were undergoing a stressful biopsy were given headphones that were playing classical music. Following the biopsy, the subjects showed significant levels of pain throughout and also had no spikes in blood pressure throughout the procedure.
Classical music also has benefits for relaxation. A study published in Human Physiology showed that classical music helps you relax, even if you’re not paying too much attention to the actual music. In this study they had children listen to classical music for 1 hour every day for 6 months. Over the course of the 6 months the children’s brains showed greater levels of relaxation. An interesting fact is the students were not even told to pay attention to the music in some cases, it was just in the background during something they were doing.
Overall, there are a lot more benefits to classical music then I had previously thought. Its interesting to see that maybe this music playing in the background may have indirectly helped my performance during the classes when it was playing, even though I did not give it much attention or care for it too much. In the future i will definitely try putting classical music on in the background and seeing if it will benefit me personally.
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