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Music Improves Performance: Listen Up and Boost Your Productivity

The sun has arrived – and all of a sudden we are getting that familiar feeling to move……and to help us move better we are reaching for the right music.

For those who exercise, music is often a way to distract oneself from the physical activity, and in some cases the pain they are enduring.  Music has the capacity to lessen the consciousness of fatigue.  However studies have examined that music has a much greater effect than just providing a distraction.

Sports psychologists have determined that music has a great impact on the performance level of an athlete. It has been suggested that the correct type of music can heighten an athlete’s performance by up to twenty percent.  Dr. Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist from Brunel University, has done studies to see the results of synchronous music and asynchronous music. 

Synchronous music has been shown to elevate a person’s performance whereas; asynchronous music shown to calm the nerves of athletes by as much as ten percent.

But this is not the only example of music’s ability to change our level of performance and productivity.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found employees with moderate sleep problems cost their companies about $2,500 in lost productivity a year. This study has also shown that listening to soft, slow (about 60 BPM) music like jazz or classical can improve the quality and duration of sleep, as well as improve functioning and creativity the next day.

One more example explores the understanding that music is well known to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously (actually no other activity seems to do this better than music). Ronald A. Berk of Johns Hopkins University suggests music is effective in isolating the side of the brain you wish to develop. To improve the function of your left hemisphere, Berk recommends that you listen to unfamiliar, fast, up-tempo music in major keys. When we are working to stimulate and challenge the mind, new music that the brain needs to digest can be effective.

All these study are certainly interesting but one of the MOST important things we have learned about music here at JB Music Therapy, regardless of the tempo and familiarity – is that:


Our suggestion we have is that each of us takes time this season to find the music that moves you – not just physically, but emotionally too. Let it be the support you need so you can do whatever you are doing, just a little bit better.