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  • Music for Productivity

    In DA's Fast CD's he talks about using Baroque Music as a means to enhance or encourage a focused mindset.
    I have made a CD of Baroque Music and also use "Music For Productivity" CD fromSound Health Series http://www.soundhealthseries.com

    Wondering what music others use to help create maximum productive state or to break them out of a state of lethargy?

    CK

  • #2
    I like "Tune Your Brain with Mozart" and "Mozart Makes You Smarter," both of which I picked up on sale at local Borders.

    Comment


    • #3
      Anything instrumental from classical to space music to jazz to Yngwie Malmsteen. It's all a mood thing.

      I find any music with lyrics and vocals to be quite distracting and my mind tends to want to focus on the words rather than allowing the music to block out everything else.

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      • #4
        Music for Productivity

        Anything by Beegie Adair, light jazz pianist (no vocals). Baroque and classical drives me batty, I think they have to re-do those studies.

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        • #5
          It depends on my situation:

          If I'm really looking for inspiration and motivation, I'll play a collection of my favorite songs. If I want to concentrate on something, I'll usually play some jazz. I like to let my mood determine the music I want to listen to.

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          • #6
            ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Zepplin, Bob
            Segar... anything of the ilk with a driving beat.

            Get's my blood flowing, mind workin'

            I love classical, jazz et al but gimme something with pulse to process by... even some zydeco & some blues.

            They keep my mind & lips hummin'

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            • #7
              What I listen to depends on what I am trying to accomplish.

              If I am up against a deadline and need to act on a rush of adreneline, hard rock is good. Anything with a good driving beat that does not get on my nerves will do.

              On an average work day, I listen to alot of smooth jazz. My favorites are Boney James, Jeff Kashiwa, the Rippingtons and the like.

              85 percent of the time, I am listening to the jazz music.

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              • #8
                Silence

                Any kind of music distracts me greatly. My best work comes when it is as quiet as a library.

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                • #9
                  depends on mood and task

                  If I need to sit and focus on intellectual work, Gregorian Chants and some Celtic music like Lunasa plays well in the background. If I'm doing physical work such as cleaning the garage or if I need to improve my mood while doing something boring and repetitive, Zydeco or Blues always gets me going.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Music for Productivity

                    Originally posted by ckennedy
                    In DA's Fast CD's he talks about using Baroque Music as a means to enhance or encourage a focused mindset.


                    CK
                    I have attended other seminars where Baroque music was touted as being great for learning, concentration, etc
                    My big question is where do I find a list of what musicians and titles that qualify as baroque music and which ones are best?

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      I just typed in Baroque music into a search on Real Player's rhapsody and found an album called the Best of Baroque music. It listed the following tracks

                      1. Air on G String

                      2. Badinerie from 'Suite No. 2'

                      3. Second Movement from 'Concerto for 2 Violins, BMV 1043

                      4. Allegro Finale from 'Fireworks Music'
                      Composer: George Frideric Handel

                      5. Adagio from 'Oboe Concerto in C Minor'
                      Composer: Alessandro Marcello

                      6. Presto from 'Water Music'
                      Composer: George Frideric Handel

                      7. Larghetto from 'Xerxes'
                      Composer: George Frideric Handel

                      8. Allegro from 'Concerto No. 1, Op. 8. `Spring'
                      Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

                      9. Giazotto - Adagio in G Minor
                      Composer: Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni

                      10. Allegor from 'Concerto in B flat for 2 Trumpets'
                      Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

                      11. Pastorale from 'Concerto grosso, No. 8, Op.6, `Christmas Concerto''
                      Composer: Arcangelo Corelli

                      12. Allegro from 'Autumn' - ' The Four Seasons'
                      Composer: Antonio Vivaldi

                      13. Andante from 'Concerto for Viola'
                      Composer: Georg Philipp Telemann

                      14. Allegro from 'Concerto grosso, No. 12'
                      Composer: George Frideric Handel


                      I just started playing it. Very nice!

                      Paul

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                      • #12
                        Re: Music for Productivity

                        Originally posted by dakennedy
                        In DA's Fast CD's he talks about using Baroque Music as a means to enhance or encourage a focused mindset.
                        Originally posted by cranewms2
                        I have attended other seminars where Baroque music was touted as being great for learning, concentration, etc
                        My big question is where do I find a list of what musicians and titles that qualify as baroque music and which ones are best?
                        Because I do research in a semi-related area and because some of my students have chosen similar topics for their independent research topics, I have looked at the research in this area. The truth is that there is no large, robust effect of music on mental performance, certainly not in any way that could predictably affect an individual's performance in the real world.

                        The effect that is sometimes seen in laboratory studies comes not just from Baroque, but also from other lively classical music pieces. Any number of lively-sounding classical music pieces have sometimes improved laboratory performance in certain mental tasks compared to slow musical pieces. However, there are a lot of caveats in interpreting these laboratory results.

                        1) The increase in performance is small, variable, and different across individuals. Because it is a small effect and there is so much variability, it is hard to see the effect even when measuring performance precisely. Individuals will rarely if ever notice an effect informally as they sit at their desks working.

                        2) The small effect seen in some studies appears to come not from the music itself, but from the music's effect on arousal. Lively music increases arousal. And arousal (up to a point) is well known to improve learning and memory. But other factors affect arousal much more strongly than music -- such as caffeine. Caffeine improves learning and memory, and its effects are robust, relatively large, and extremely well documented. By contrast, music's effect is variable, small, and hard to replicate.

                        3) In fact, some research suggests that even when people believe they learn better while listening to certain music, they actually learn better without any music.

                        Bottom line: there is nothing magical about Baroque music that makes your brain focus more. (Baroque music, by the way, is simply art music with certain shared style characteristics from approximately the 1600's. Many of the studies mentioned above used Mozart, which is actually from the Classical period, not Baroque.)

                        The things that have a big effect on your brain's performance are
                        1) sleep - inadequate sleep degrades performance
                        2) food - blood sugar swings, or high or low levels, degrade performance
                        3) motivation - we use money to get incredible feats of attention, learning, and memory from laboratory participants. (Course credit has little effect!)
                        4) pharmacological agents - caffeine, nootropics, etc.

                        Although they don't make for exciting seminar content, all of these have far greater impact than music, so if you want to improve your mental performance, look at the big 3 first.

                        -andersons

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                        • #13
                          Don't you think we can train our minds to respond to a certain type of music (or other stimulus) in a particular way? Also that the power of suggestion is at work. For example, my dentist always has new age music (with lots of harp) that I would never listen to of my own volition. But she says it's relaxing for her patients, and I think it is calming ( but I realize that some other types of music might do that, or even white noise etc.)

                          Recently I've gotten interested in relaxation and the relationship between mind and body, since that cover article in Newsweek appeared a few weeks ago. I got a relaxation cd and tried to use it, but I believe I get just as relaxed playing my favorite Bob Dylan albums, and even some Rolling Stones. So I'm wondering if it isn't the associations that spring up in my mind when I play that 60's music. --Perhaps they remind me of a pleasant period of my life, so if I'm listening to that music while I'm driving, I stay calm and don't get stressed by the red light runners and the people who cut in front of me with only an inch to spare, or cut across three lanes of traffic to get to the other side of the street, etc.

                          And, if I start playing cd's of baroque music, or classical guitar, when I want to work, I wonder if it won't help get me trained, so that when I sit down at my desk and get out my files etc., and have the music going, maybe it will be a continuous reminder that I'm not to stop working until I stop the music.

                          I'm wondering if it could work like that--I'd like to be like Pavlov's dog, point me toward that desk, and my mind will automatically go into a productive, focused mode, because of all the environmental signals that are telling me to keep my mind on work.

                          I really wonder about this because all my life I've hated to have music going around me when I was trying to work or study. I thought it was because I couldn't block it out, or maybe I had to engage my mind with it, but now I'd like to try to use it to help me concentrate.

                          I spent the weekend cleaning everything off my desk, so I'll have nothing on it but the files I'm working on and my computer. I'm wondering if there's anything else I could do that would help my concentration.

                          Thanks!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Guest
                            Don't you think we can train our minds to respond to a certain type of music (or other stimulus) in a particular way?. . . For example, my dentist always has new age music (with lots of harp) that I would never listen to of my own volition. But she says it's relaxing for her patients. . .
                            Yes, some types of music can increase arousal, while other types of music can decrease it. And yes, certain recognizable songs can become associated with either trauma or relaxation. For example, a song that may be relaxing (i.e., lower arousal) for most people may actually increase arousal for me (Send In the Clowns) because I hate the song. Hating a song is, of course, a learned response. Say the dentist is playing a particular harp piece while performing a painful operation on you. Say the pain becomes suddenly, unexpectedly, and unbearably severe. The trauma of that painful experience may lead to the accompanying stimuli, including the harp music, being encoded as traumatic. However, even many traumatic associations fade over time; memories decay if they are not reinforced.

                            Originally posted by Guest
                            So I'm wondering if it isn't the associations that spring up in my mind when I play that 60's music. --Perhaps they remind me of a pleasant period of my life, so if I'm listening to that music while I'm driving, I stay calm and don't get stressed by the red light runners. . .
                            I would argue that the music in fact distracts you from some of the unpleasant aspects of driving. Much of the time, driving does not require your full attention. So your mind is free to notice the obnoxious rudeness of other drivers. But when you play enjoyable music (the enjoyment is a learned response), you can pay attention to the music instead of the other drivers.

                            Originally posted by Guest
                            And, if I start playing cd's of baroque music, or classical guitar, when I want to work, I wonder if it won't help get me trained, so that when I sit down at my desk and get out my files etc., and have the music going, maybe it will be a continuous reminder that I'm not to stop working until I stop the music.
                            If this were the case, the music would be functioning to help increase your motivation to focus on certain work. It sounds like the motivation is lacking. Making your work or your environment more pleasant can perhaps help.

                            Originally posted by Guest
                            I'm wondering if it could work like that--I'd like to be like Pavlov's dog, point me toward that desk, and my mind will automatically go into a productive, focused mode, because of all the environmental signals that are telling me to keep my mind on work.
                            I doubt it. Remember that Pavlov's dogs were conditioned with food. Food is undoubtedly the most powerful and reliable reward. If you want to leverage your deepest subconscious biological reward mechanisms, try using food. Even so, when you control the food, it probably won't work as well as when you get it only when the experimenter gives it to you.

                            Also, Pavlov's dog's were conditioned to salivate when hearing a bell. They weren't conditioned to work hard for long periods of time when hearing that bell. There's a big difference. Animals, just like humans, procrastinate when they know they have to do more work before getting a reward. Recent research showed that this behavior depends on the brain's reward circuitry. When monkeys' brains' reward circuitry was turned off (by inactivating dopamine in a certain brain area), the monkeys became uncharacteristic workaholics for tasks for which they had previously slacked off.

                            Originally posted by Guest
                            I really wonder about this because all my life I've hated to have music going around me when I was trying to work or study. I thought it was because I couldn't block it out, or maybe I had to engage my mind with it, but now I'd like to try to use it to help me concentrate.
                            I'm a professional musician (formerly full-time, now part-time) so of course I really love music. For work that doesn't require full attention, and/or work that is tedious and boring so I want to get it done fast, I often listen to arousing music to help by distracting me with something pleasant that will probably speed me up. But when work requires my full attention, I can't listen to any kind of music.

                            Originally posted by Guest
                            I spent the weekend cleaning everything off my desk, so I'll have nothing on it but the files I'm working on and my computer. I'm wondering if there's anything else I could do that would help my concentration.
                            What type of work do you have trouble concentrating on? And what do you do instead of concentrating?

                            -andersons

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                            • #15
                              I guess my problem is that I have trouble getting started, organizing my work, and just sitting down and doing it. So I've cleaned everything off my desk and gotten it absolutely clear, and for the past few days I've been doing better at concentration. I'm an accountant so my projects are tax returns, reports for my clients, etc. And I get on the internet and read these messages when I can't settle down.

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