Does music help people to learn? This idea became popular with the Mozart Effect. I have mixed views about the Mozart Effect but I do believe that music has a direct affect on the brain (sometimes positive and sometimes negative). I occasionally experiment using background music in my ESL class. I’ve played music by The Relaxation Company that includes alpha and beta wave. These waves are suppose to have an affect on the brain and enhance awareness.
Ideally, I play the music soft so that it is not a distraction and that at times the students don’t realize that music is playing. At times, the students tell me the music is relaxing and they find it easier to learn. Other times they say nothing. Sometimes they focus too much on the music and the music distracts them.
I wonder if cultural differences come into play. Different cultures associate different values to music. They also have different musical preferences and expectations.
My degree is in Music Theory (B.A. Boston University). I have always found it interesting how music affects people and how people react to different types of music.
Please share your thoughts with me.