Jim’s WebLetter for 7-22-17

Hi-ya fellow music listener!

English playwright and poet William Congreve is quoted as saying, “Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast”.  That phrase falls under the ‘no truer words were ever spoken’ category as scientists and researchers have spent time and funds discovering that different types of music can create different moods.  

When I was working on the air years ago, we programmers knew that blending a style of music as well as the song’s tempo helped listeners to better enjoy their experience while tuned to the radio station.  

My favorite air shift to work was mid-days because it was a time people were at work and they would tune in to hear music they could work along with. Then at lunch, they would listen while enjoying their break. Many of the cafes and restaurants would play radio stations over the speakers while their patrons were dining, because we would play music people enjoyed while getting their meal. For me, taking requests and dedications and giving shout-outs to these places really improved listenership, which translated in better ratings. 

Today, music continues to be studied for its benefits in the workplace. What was once a matter of radio station preference in the office (country, soft rock, adult contemporary, beautiful music) now has become more of individual taste as the modern day workplace allows employees to wear headphones or earphones playing the style of music each employee enjoys.

In an article for The New York Times, Amisha Padnani explains: “Some workers like to listen to music when they find themselves losing focus. They may also plug in their earbuds to escape an environment that’s too noisy — or too quiet”.

Writing for Make Use Of, Rob Nightingale says, “Music can help us to both alter our mental states and distract us from the physical world. It is used to help unwind after a hectic day, or help us focus on a particularly difficult assignment”.

Realizing we face our days doing mundane or repetitive things like answering emails, or times when we need to really focus on the work, scientists have discovered certain music tastes tend to help us get through those periods.

Using music keeps your mind off the tedium of your work, and helps you to stay in the “zone”. Listening to something up-tempo usually works pretty well, but it’s all subjective. The key to finding what helps you best is to make sure you enjoy the music, or your focus will be diverted from your work to why you don’t like what you’re listening to.

According to studies from researchers at the University of Windsor, music without lyrics is best as words to songs tend to distract the mind’s focus.  

If you find yourself doing mundane or repetitive work, try music like this … https://youtu.be/Tmtfhud4cUE

More focused or deep thinking work tends to be best while listening to songs that cause a “positive mood alteration”, helping you to truly focus on your work, rather than forget about its dullness. They suggest listening to music without big melodic and acoustic variations. Look for ambient music with a focus on repetition. These researchers suggest Classical music or Ambient “chill out” type music like this … https://youtu.be/BqVzw_pSXW0

You may also consider natural sounds (music that includes sounds of nature) or even video game music. These lend themselves to filling the time spent listening without distractions.

How do you find this music? YouTube is king for finding “music mixes” without paying the price of purchasing tracks. Just search for the type of music that matches your need to fill the time, and save the link in the YouTube app or bookmark in your browser. You can also use Spotify, Google Play Music or Apple Music to find what works best for your musical taste.

The thing is to experiment to find what works best for you.  

If you’re finding it hard to get into the mood to do your work, music could well be the answer. It’s also likely to help if silence or annoying background noise is taking you away from your work.


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That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.

Jim’s WebLetter

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