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Can Music Make You Smarter?

It’s often said that listening to music whilst at work or while revising can increase you levels of concentration and creativity. But is this true or is it just an urban myth? Many workplaces have radios playing and students often say that listening to Mozart can help them relax and stay focused during a stressful time in their lives.

In this video James May from the BBC show Top Gear and James May’s Man Lab is joined by Michael Stevens to separate the facts from the fiction. On a personal note I’ve found that listening to music can help to tune out the outside world, but the best thing to do is to turn off your wireless router and find the quietest room in the house. However, this can be troublesome, since there’s only so much time you can spend reading or typing until your mind starts to wander off.

Another good idea is to just put the radio on, this takes the control out of the equation. Using an MP3 player just means you end up fiddling with it and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour and a half trying to find that chill out tune that used to help you at university (Riders on the Storm by the Doors, in case you were wondering).

Even if you don’t want to listen to anything, try just putting a pair of head phones in your ears and pretend you’re listening. Then you can ignore anyone who is trying to distract you. If you have to communicate with them just take the head phones out your ears and say, “What? I couldn’t hear you I was listening to something”.

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