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We don't like unfamiliar music, even though we claim we do

We don't like unfamiliar music, even though we claim we do | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Spotify. Pandora. iTunes. YouTube. We are constantly bombarded with a seemingly limitless amount of new music in our daily lives. But why do we keep coming back to that one song or album we couldn’t get enough of in college?
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Interesting one this - the main takeaway is pretty straightforward - that people like to think they want something different but ultimately are happier with what they know.  This is almost like the "Aspirational" Netflix queue  - you know - when you're picking titles you throw in the odd obscure documentary or social issue movie - but when it comes time to watch them - you'd rather pass and settle on something less taxing and - yes - more familiar.

 

It's the end point that I find intriguing in that they postulate that people will choose familiar music when they're busy working or doing cognitively demanding tasks - which makes perfect sense to me.  It's the whole theory behind music2work2 in that people use music to create an optimal aural environment to do stuff - and the less challenging or more familiar the music - the less resource the brain has to devote to processing it - so - you et the benefit of the aural environment with plenty of brain power left to dedicate towards the task at hand.

 

Image Credit: Alan on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/15582922@N00/112229443/

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How Music Can Improve Your Life and Create Flow
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Dangerous Decibels

Dangerous Decibels | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

We occasionally see articles about loud music and the damage it can do to teen's ears.  What we didn't know is that there is a movement called Dangerous Decibels which tackles the problem directly.  What we like about this is that it give parents tangible advice on how to help their kids keep their hearing.  If you're the parent of kid who seems to have ear buds surgically implanted in their ear canal - you might want to check this out.

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How to Listen to Music at Work Without Sacrificing Productivity

How to Listen to Music at Work Without Sacrificing Productivity | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Putting on your headphones to tune out office distractions can do more harm than good if you're listening to focus-sapping music.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

There's pretty much a consensus nowadays that listening to music at work can help productivity - bosses and managers are getting used to seeing employees wearing ear buds and headphones and are even welcoming the fact.  As the idea matures we see writers spending less time on justification and more on how to make the music really work for you.  This Amex article look s at what types of music can help different working activities - nothing earth shattering here but it's great to see such corporate media channels getting on the music at work bandwagon.

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Library, Magic House Team Up to Help Ferguson Kids Cope with Crisis

Library, Magic House Team Up to Help Ferguson Kids Cope with Crisis | Music to work to | Scoop.it
A unicorn. A Blues Stanley Cup. An end to the violence in Ferguson. To finally start school. Peace. These were...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

It's amazing to me how fast music therapy is gaining ground in society.  There's nothing new about putting on activities and distractions for kids in tough environments, such as the hell everybody went through inFergusonearlier this year - but the fact that a music therapist is part of those activities and a very popular one to boot - is an indication of just how far we've come.

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The art and science of whispering

The art and science of whispering | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Belinda Lopez enters a world of whispering women and scientific curiosity.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

I'm personally very familiar with the tingling sensation that ASMR describes - having experienced it a lot as a kid, so I was blown away to find a burgeoning online community.  This is a great introduction to the ASMR world with different perspectives from a physiologist to a neuroscientist to a therapist.  I think there are a lot of parallels between the effect that ASMR has on the body and what music to work to can do.

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The Undercover Soundtrack - Alice Degan

The Undercover Soundtrack - Alice Degan | Music to work to | Scoop.it

'Music is a ritual of invocation' Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative environment – perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold a mome...

Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This is a really interesting look into how an author sets up a playlist to help her reach the place where she can fall into her characters.  The bit that resonates deeply with me is the whole ritual aspect and the identification of a track as an entry point into the act of writing.

 

Also I'm a huge Thomas Tallis fan and Vaughan William's Fantasia is now on my working playlist!

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Mozart as Medicine: The Health Benefits of Music

Mozart as Medicine: The Health Benefits of Music | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Learn about the health benefits of music and how to use music therapy to relieve stress, reduce pain, and improve your health.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Long but well put together article that looks at the current research on music therapy.  The main takeaway is that the majority of studies are flawed and don't really define how the clear benefits associated with music therapy are attributed.  More research is needed - but there is the final point - that undoubtedly music does have a positive benefit and unlike all the pills and other procedures - there are no negative side effects!

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5 Ways to Incorporate Music into the Workplace

5 Ways to Incorporate Music into the Workplace | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Nice overview on music in the workplace - complete with some listening recommendations - The Simcity 4 soundtrack is a favorite for many knowledge workers

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Relaxation Techniques for Migraines and Headaches

Relaxation Techniques for Migraines and Headaches | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Learning relaxation techniques is an important part of migraine and headache relief. Read these tips.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Headaches are horrible and dealing with them can be a nightmare.  This article looks at relaxation techniques which have been shown to help people suffering from headaches and migraines.  One of the recommendations is to use calming music in the background - which makes sense so long as it isn't "loud" music!  Some music2work2 would be perfect for this.

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How music prevents organ rejection

How music prevents organ rejection | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Music has a fundamental affect on humans. It can reduce stress, enhance relaxation, provide a distraction from pain, and improve the results of clinical therapy.

 

MUSIC: http://www.scoop.it/t/science-news?tag=music

 


Via Sakis Koukouvis
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

research from Japan on Mice - the only thing you need to know is this:


"They found that opera and classical music both increased the time before the transplanted organs failed, but single frequency monotones and new age music did not."


take that Yanni!


;-p

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Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noise Alters Speech Processing

Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noise Alters Speech Processing | Music to work to | Scoop.it
New research suggests exposure to loud sounds like emergency vehicle sirens... even high volume from an mp3 player... may be damaging the brain as well as the ears.

15 percent of Americans betwee...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Should be required reading for all teenagers (and anybody for that matter) who live with their earbuds in.  We knew about high volumes damaging the hair cells (although I hadn't realized it was permanent) but this study would indicate that the damage is also replicated ins the auditory cortex - which will affect how you process speech and conversation.  The big takeaway - be careful with your volume - I really do suspect that there's going to be a whole generation that is hard of hearing later on in life!

 

Image Credit: Mikey GOttawaon Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeygottawa/374910126

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Not Just for Music: Drumming Is Therapy, Too

Not Just for Music: Drumming Is Therapy, Too | Music to work to | Scoop.it
A growing body of research shows that drumming has a positive effect on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, PTSD, and more.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

When you look at the list of benefits as identified by scientific studies it just makes you wonder why more people aren't shouting about this.  Improved T cell counts, helping Alzheimer patients, reducing drop out rates and even reversing genetic responses to stress!  I wonder if it's just cultural - the idea that a drum circle is typically populated by 60's throwbacks and the whole hippie thing that keeps people from actively attending or doing something with this information.  I guess we're going to need even more studies before people are convinced.

 

#musictoworkto

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Running to the beat of your own music

Running to the beat of your own music | Music to work to | Scoop.it
One-hundred and seventy beats per minute. That's the song tempo Nate Hammond wants to hear while on a shorter, faster run.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Studies over the years have show the clear benefits that music can bring to runners - I particularly remember the one quoted that shows that music can reduce the perception of exertion by 10% and that synchronizing movements to the beat can increase performance by 15%.  Who wouldn't want to get that benefit?

 

It's going to make runners at least more aware of the tempo of tracks and as the article says move people more into the techno and hip hop worlds!

 

#musictoworkto  #musictorunto  #music2run2

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EyeMusic brings music to our eyes | Health

EyeMusic brings music to our eyes | Health | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Reading this yesterday I immediately thought of that of that "terrific!" Ben Affleck Superhero movie - DareDevil - the one where he "sees" the world through visual radar - being able to use sound to bounce waves off objects and then interpret them kinda like a submarine!

 

This is not the case!  the point behind this article is the idea that the visual cortex isn't really about vision - and that if you train a blind person to read using touch with Braille, they use the same visual cortex as a seeing person.

 

What they're doing here is using sound to represent what the world looks like - not radar or sonar - but actually creating auditory signals such as upward swoops to represent smiles.  Apparently after just 30 minutes instruction, a blind person can identify a series of different shapes.

 

It's all pretty interesting and insightful when it comes to how the visual cortex isn't just about sight - but I'm not sure about the wider world applicability.  

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Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition

Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

I loved reading this study - it reminded me of my own undergraduate work as a Psych major when I was looking at how sound affected physical performance.  What the paper is suggesting is that the low level processing systems of the brain get occupied by the ambient noise, forcing the brain to use a higher level of processing when attending to additional tasks.  This results in greater creativity - which is something we've been gambling our live on!

 

You can read about my original study here:

 

http://music2work2.com/music2work2-music-to-work-to/why-listening-music-makes-you-smarter

 

and then go listen to some pleasant ambient noise - like - instrumental music2work2!

 

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4436909284

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The Super Simple Way to Improve Your Mood

The Super Simple Way to Improve Your Mood | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Use this trick to bust through your next funk
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Study out of Missouri that looked at mood regulation - particularly how to make yourself happier using variations of happy sounding and less positive music combined with setting an intention to be happier.  Seems that you need both - happy music and a good intention and you can improve your mood.  Awesome!

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Music as medicine has huge potential, study suggests

Music as medicine has huge potential, study suggests | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Music boosts the body's immune system and is more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before a surgery, a research review from two psychologists at Montreal's McGill University suggests.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This was the study published last year from Daniel Levitin and Mona Lisa Chanda that reviewed 400 scientific papers on how music affects the human being.  It's pretty clear that there are significant benefits across the board and the idea of music as medicine (a medicine with no side effects,) is something we can all get behind.  A nice summary and worth the read.

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The Many Health Benefits of Music on The Brain - Daily Health Post

The Many Health Benefits of Music on The Brain - Daily Health Post | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Nice little primer article into how music is good for you - some good links out to studies and a groovy little info graphic at the end.  one to share with the doubting Thomas' in your life!

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Bryony Crane's curator insight, September 10, 7:11 PM

Stay well with music!

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Why do we love the music we heard as teenagers? - Bubblews

Why do we love the music we heard as teenagers? - Bubblews | Music to work to | Scoop.it
As I plod through my 20s, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon: The music I loved as a teenager means more to me than ever—but with each passing year...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Well thought out and presented article that looks at the neuroscience and psychology behind our attachment to the songs from our youth.  If you've ever wondered why certain tracks stay with you after all these years - have a read - well worth it!

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Bouncing to the Beatles Breeds Benevolent Babies

Bouncing to the Beatles Breeds Benevolent Babies | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Canadian researchers find synchronized movement to music can inspire altruism in 14-month-old infants.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

I love this study - researchers showed that children as young as 14 months can be influenced to exhibit spontaneous helping behavior if they have previously engaged in synchronous behavior with the object of their assistance!  read the article for the details but the takeaway for me is that it isn't necessarily about music - the researchers reckoned that music probably wasn't necessary - what was necessary was the movement and visual recognition that another human being was moving in the same way as them.  What music was doing here was to deliver the auditory cues on when to move - and that for me is a huge insight into how music affects us.  It's often not that music has some special magic that makes things happen - it's that music is so prevalent and we're so used to acting on its inherent nature (i.e rhythm, beat, melody, mood, bass lines) that its our actions that are the cause but we attribute them to music.  

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This Music Will Make You Feel Invincible

This Music Will Make You Feel Invincible | Music to work to | Scoop.it
By Tom Jacobs

As its recent reincarnation on Broadway reminded us, you can’t separate Rocky from its music. It’s easy to believe the lovable underdog boxer could be a champion, so long as that rousing, brass-heavy score is roaring as...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This one has been making the rounds this week for obvious reasons.  If just listening to music can make you feel and act more powerful then that's pretty good information to have.  the study isolated the driver to be heavy bass beats in the tracks which has certainly been a major growth area in popular music over the last decade or so.  Nothing terribly new here - athletes and competitors of all kinds have used music to pump themselves up before an event - it's just interesting to see that one specific aspect of the music - the bass - can have such an impact.

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Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons

Listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Distraction is an effective pain reliever, and a new study concludes that listening to music can be effective for reducing pain in high-anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in cognitive activities.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Interesting study with decent sample size of 145 subjects that experienced controlled pain while focusing on music.   The idea is that music helps reduce pain because it activates sensory pathways that compete with the pain pathways and the data seems to back this up.  What was super interesting was that they got the participants to rank their anxiety about the pain before hand and had hypothesized that those with high anxiety with the pain would be least affected by the music.  Turns out the opposite - apparently the more anxious you are about the pain - the more likely it is that the music will have a positive and soothing effect. 

 

Image credit: Quinn Dombrowski - Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/5151278314

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Practice may not make perfect

Practice may not make perfect | Music to work to | Scoop.it
TO MASTER the violin takes 10,000 hours of practice. Put in that time and expertise will follow. This, at least, is what many music teachers—following Malcolm...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

I like this article - not least because the dataset involved over a thousand twins!  Bottom line - no amount of practicing is going to turn you into a pro unless you have a genetic predisposition.  So - sorry to all the people out there who tell their kids "You can do anything you want if you just try hard enough." yes it's a nice sentiment but the real world doesn't work that way.  It reminds me of student athletes who are promised they could play in the pros one day but whose parents gifted them a smaller frame than their competition.  It doesn't matter how hard you work - if you're 8 inches shorter than the other guy - it's going to be tough!

 

Image Credit: Manly Football on Flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/manlyfootball/6834097295

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Study finds that snowboarders listening to music have less injuries

Study finds that snowboarders listening to music have less injuries | Music to work to | Scoop.it
The British Journal of Sports Medicine has published a study that finds snowboarders who listen to music on a personal music player have less injuries then snowboarders who do not listen to music. ...
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

This is brilliant - seems that if you listen to music while you're snowboarding you're less likely to have an accident.  However, the data does come with the caveat that if you do have an accident while listening to music - it's more likely to be significant and end up with a trip to the ER instead of being handled by the snow patrol on the hill.

 

It reminds me of driving behavior inGermanyback in the day - accidents were pretty infrequent, as most people obeyed the traffic laws, however - when there was an accident it was generally pretty horrendous due to the unlimited speeds allowed on the autobahn.

 

The takeaway for me is the whole idea that music can encourage and facilitate the development of a state of flow.  That place where you're not really thinking about what you're doing - you're just in the zone and performing effortlessly.  So for our snowboarders they make less mistakes and have less accidents.  the down side could potentially be that they start testing the limits of their ability - resulting in the big accidents that send them off to the ER.

 

Ah well - no pain - no gain!!!  ;-p 

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They're Using Our Biology Against Us? Movie Makers Are Evil Geniuses!

They're Using Our Biology Against Us? Movie Makers Are Evil Geniuses! | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Why do movie soundtracks affect us? Film makers are using our own biological responses against us.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

Short primer on how composers use music to manipulate emotions in the movie world.  Although we're all familiar with the sounds of Jaws and the shower scene from Psycho - its the infrasounds used in Paranormal Activity - those deep frequencies that we can't hear but feel - that really - that I think are really interesting!

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Does listening to music improve productivity? Here's 8 compelling reasons why it does

Does listening to music improve productivity? Here's 8 compelling reasons why it does | Music to work to | Scoop.it
Does listening to music improve productivity? Here's several studies and research that proves why it does.
Andrew McCluskey's insight:

It's funny - when we sat down 9 years ago and wrote the business plan for music2work2 we knew that one of the indicators of success would be the arrival of articles that talk about how music can help productivity.  It always puts a smile on my face to read pieces like this.  If you're struggling with someone who says music doesn't have an effect - get them to read this.  but remember - it is all subjective - and even though these studies show a benefit - there are plenty of people for whom music is a terrible distraction - whether its instrumental or not!

 

#musictoworkto

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