Diverse, eclectic and always inspirational… BBC Radio 6 has become my constant companion when I am either working or mooching about at home. The breadth of music is really diverse, there are no repetitive playlists, and I learn about new artists all of the time and from all over the world… no hierarchy, snobbery or commercialism… just music that inspires the DJ’s.
Take today for instance, I was unpacking my shopping and gyrating to Gilles Peterson’s Saturday afternoon rare grooves, whilst later on I nodded my head in time as I typed away on a website article. The latter article was relating to financial information, but PJ Harvey suited the typing speed, and now when I read it back I can hear 50ft Queenie in my mind – definitely not what the readers will hear as they read my FinTec news.
In a way it’s a bit of an addiction. I miss it when I am in the car and have to substitute another radio station to listen to. I pine for Lauren Laverne, Radcliffe & Maconie and Tom Robinson’s dulcet tones. If I have to listen to Jenni Murray on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, I end up enraged and comparing her to Cerys Matthews, and the latter wins hands down. If I try Radio 1 it just seems so noisy and inane in comparison. It’s got to the point where I’ll just plug in a podcast instead, and I am loving The Leisure Society series at the moment (from, you guessed it… BBC Radio 6).
I find that I am more creative when I listen to music as I work, and this information that follows proves my point:
Scientific research has uncovered that listening to music can actually be beneficial while you work. Although, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
A study by Simone Ritter, at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and Sam Ferguson, at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, looked at how listening to various types of music affected different types of thinking compared to working in silence.
Their study found that happy music enhanced participants creative ‘divergent thinking’. However they found it had no impact on ‘convergent thinking’, which is problem-solving.
In their study, Ritter and Ferguson split 155 volunteers into five groups, which were then given tasks to complete. Four of the groups did so while listening to classical music aimed at stimulating different moods, such as Holst’s Mars and Vivaldi’s Spring. The fifth group worked in silence.
They found that the groups working to music they considered positive generally came up with more original ideas.
Ritter and Ferguson said: “The current project aimed to shed light on the potential association of music listening for optimizing divergent and convergent creativity, and demonstrated that listening to ‘happy music’ (i.e., classical music that elicits positive mood and is high on arousal) is associated with an increase in divergent thinking, but not convergent thinking.”
The upshot being, if you need to be creative with your work, then you should stick some uplifing music to help get the cognitive juices flowing. But if you’re trying to solve an problem, you’re better off opting for quiet solitude. (Telegraph, Sept 2017)
As I don’t do problematic maths problems for work, I think I’m OK to continue….