Can Background Music Help Learning?

A psychologist observes students’ behaviour with background music Playing music quietly in the background in lessons can stimulate better concentration and learning according to some scientists. We put this theory to the test at a secondary school in Birmingham. We recruited musician Vo Fletcher to play recorded music in the background during science lessons at Moseley School. Pupils are observed as they take part in science revision activities, with and without music playing, by psychologist Dr Penny Upton from the University of Worcester. She keeps a beady eye on the pupils’ behaviour and she witnesses some remarkable changes once the music is playing. Teacher John Crawshaw is observed too as the experiment proceeds – and his behaviour seems to be changing once Vo’s music seeps into the room. He seems calmer and more relaxed as his students become more engaged in the tasks set for them.

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