This Week in Music to Work to - September 18th, 2014


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

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:

Dangerous Decibels

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.

How to Listen to Music at Work Without Sacrificing Productivity 

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.

The Super Simple Way to Improve Your Mood

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!

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

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.

Music as medicine has huge potential, study suggests

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.

#musictoworkto #creativity #medicine #mood #ambient


Written while listening to: Trust

Image Credit: Creativity by Sean MacEntee on Flickr 





Dangerous Decibels

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to


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.


See on dangerousdecibels.org

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

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to


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:

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

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


See on jstor.org

How to Listen to Music at Work Without Sacrificing Productivity

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

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.


See on americanexpress.com

The Super Simple Way to Improve Your Mood

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

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!


See on womenshealthmag.com

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

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

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.


See on blogs.riverfronttimes.com

Music as medicine has huge potential, study suggests

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

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.


See on cbc.ca

This Week in Music to Work to - September 4th, 2014


The art and science of whispering

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.


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

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!


The Undercover Soundtrack - Alice Degan

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!

#musictoworkto #musictowriteto #ASMR



Written while listening to: Fibonacci Series Playlist

The art and science of whispering

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to

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.


See on abc.net.au

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

See on Scoop.it - Music to work to


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!


See on dailyhealthpost.com