Music has powerful effects on our brains. It doesn’t matter if it’s hip-hop, R&B, jazz, electronic, or classical. If you like what’s playing, you’ll feel good and improve your mood. And, according to new research, musical training could help improve your focus.
Music and Attention
Researchers looked at 18 professional musicians who had been practicing music for 12 years compared to 18 nonmusical participants. The nonmusical participants did not have any formal music lessons and could not read music. The study participants watched images while researchers times how long it took for them to respond to changes.
The musicians scored much better than their nonmusical counterparts. The professionals took 53.83 milliseconds to respond while the nonmusical participants took 87.19 milliseconds. They scored better on what is considered ‘executive control’, which relates to the part of the brain responsible for blocking out distractions.
Musical Training Can Improve Focus
Another important takeaway is that attentional control improved proportionally with the number of years the participants had in musical training. So, the more musical training you have, the more effective you are at ignoring insignificant stimuli and maintaining concentration. So, if you’re looking to improve your focus, maybe it’s time to try out an instrument! But, if you’re looking for other ways to improve focus, you might try:
- Meditation – studies show those who meditate have better attention control that those who don’t.
- Exercise – moving your body revs up your brain and can boost concentration and thinking stills.
- Try Something New – engaging your brain in new activities forces you to learn information and think in different ways to keep your brain healthy.
- Eat Well – eating healthy food impacts our brains. One great example is the connection between omega-3 levels and better thinking abilities.
So, though training in music is linked to better focus, even just listening to music can promote wellbeing by releasing dopamine in the brain, stimulating endorphins, and can lower stress and energize you. Dancing has also been linked to
But let me get back to music and the impact it has on us. Just listening can promote wellness by stimulating endorphins, releasing the feel-good chemical dopamine, it can also lower stress, and energize you. So pick a favorite tune, turn up the volume, and get your groove on – it’s for your health.