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Effect of Music on Grades of Students

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    The purpose of our study is to investigate the effects of music on student’s grades in Mathematics, Statistics and Accounting. And also investigate student wants to take lecture and give exam with music. Music has been found to have profound effect on the brain. Psychologists and scientists have been looking at the link between music, with mood, work efficiency and concentration for years.

    In our experiment, we hope to find a correlation or regression between music and its effect on studies and grades. 400 students were selected randomly from the different universities. As everybody in his life ever tried to use music during his studies so we wanted to know its effects. We used a questionnaire for that task. Different socio cultural peoples were used but main three parts was comprised into our questionnaire. Firstly we tried to know that how much students had ever taken lecture or given exam with music.

    Our first part was “introduction” in which we got to know that how much students know about music and its type and which type of music they prefer to listen. Second part “objective” is back born of our questionnaire because it contains the question of is students like to listen music during lecture, homework or in exams and in which subject they prefer to listen music. Does the music effect their studies and if yes then the effect is positive or negative in their opinion. Third part contains the questions of “Suggestion” in which they recommend that music should be used in lecture and exams or not.

    They told us that music can increase their performance in math or not and relationship between music and math. We get their opinion on that they are satisfied with grades of those subjects in which they used music. At the end they told us their grades which helped us to reach at a conclusion. Introduction and Literature Review Introduction Mathematics and music have a strange connection. Music is the only art form, where the form and the medium are the same. Mathematics is the study of mathematics using mathematics. Music is only created and experienced as music.

    Thus, there is a natural connection between mathematics and music. Both are experienced as pure objects of the brain, and both have meaning outside of the brain only by artificial connections. Music is thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the universe. This study is conducted to know about the music and its effect on grade of student. The main reason of selecting this topic as our research was lecture of Human Resource Management, in which background music and songs was played during our quizzes, lecture and our final exam.

    So we want to know that is there some relation between music/songs and study. We also wanted to know that what is the opinion of students of other’s university and had they ever taken lecture and given exam with music and what do they think about that music effects their capabilities and grade or not. We were curious to know that is this activity of playing music/song during exam and lecture done in other universities or not. Music is said to affect the intellect of humans in several different ways. Specifically, it is said to affect infants more than any other age group.

    Music can improve learning skills, test taking skills, concentration, heartbeat, and relaxation. Music has been proven to offer several benefits for infants, young children, young adults, as well as for adults. Not only does music affect intellect, but it also benefits health. This reasoning is due to a persona heartbeat. A slower heartbeat indicates relaxation. Students usually study in quiet, relaxed surroundings while listening to serene music. Classical music can steady a fast heartbeat. For example, a student’s heartbeat may increase due to test anxiety.

    An adagio-tempo song might slow the heartbeat and help the student loosen up and relax. Exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining good health, and music can be beneficial to this. Music reduces muscle tension, resulting in a better, more efficient work out. Scientists performed controlled studies using adult males who were approximately 25 years old. Scientists took blood samples before and after treadmill running. The experiment found that with the presence of music, heart rate, blood pressure, and lactate secretion in the brain were significantly lower. The results proved that music improves workouts and reduces stress.

    Music benefits infants, young children, college students, and adults. Experiments relating exposure to music and intelligence are ubiquitous and usually positive. Music is gaining the reputation of having more power than it generally did in the past. Different types of music create different effects depending on the person. Listening to an up beat, fast song might give someone energy to work out; listening to a soft, relaxing song might put a person to sleep; and listening to Mozart may enhance spatial reasoning and memory in the brain. Whatever the situation may be, music seems to have a purely benefiting effect.

    Literature Review With the advent of electronically reproduced music, background music has become increasingly prevalent in our society. The occurrence of such music is so common that an individual may not be aware of music in their immediate environment. Background music can be defined as any music played while the listener’s attention is focused primarily on a task or activity other than listening to the music (Radocy & Boyle, 1988). The function of background music varies with the individual listener and with the nature of the task or activity in which the listener is involved.

    Such a task or activity could be studying or other academic preparation. Students of all ages have often claimed that they can study and learn more effectively while listening to music. Indeed, some researchers have explored the possible transfer of cognitive abilities to other curricular areas by theorizing that exposure to music, through participation and formal instruction can facilitate nonmusical learning (Madsen, 1987; Radocy & Boyle, 1988; Wolfe, 1983). Yet a solid research base for these claims seems to be lacking. While music appears to enhance some individuals’ learning, it may be distracting to others.

    The possible effects of exposure to music and music instruction on nonmusical learning have received some previous attention from the music education research community. Two reviews of literature (Hanshumaker, 1980; Wolff, 1977) discussed the extra musical effects of music education . The results of these reviews demonstrated mixed results. While some research indicated there may be some measurable effects of music instruction on cognitive skill, due to some inadequacies in the experimental designs such positive conclusions should be viewed with caution.

    Other researchers have utilized music as a reinforcer or mnemonic device (Madsen & Forsythe, 1973; Traver-Holder, 1993). Also, studies have attempted to draw a cause and effect relationship between music study and academic achievement (Friedman, 1959). Greenberg and Fisher (1971) discovered that background music had a statistically significant effect on psychological test scores. However, the direct effects of exposure to musical sounds during study or academic testing have received comparatively little attention.

    Henderson, Crews, and Barlow (1945) found that popular music distracted subjects on a paragraph comprehension test, while it had no effect on vocabulary test scores. In a similar study, LaBach (1960) found background music had no effect on reading comprehension scores. He also discovered that the subjects’ preference for listening to music while studying had no significant effect when used as a covariate. Etaugh and Michaels (1975) found an interaction between gender and frequency of studying to music that affected reading comprehension scores. However, Kelly (1993) did not find this interaction in a later study.

    Studies that have examined the exposure to musical sounds on math skills have had similar results. Wolf and Weiner (1972) reported a statistically significant difference between music and silent conditions on arithmetic test scores. However, they attributed this difference to habituation as most of the test subjects reported that they listened to “hard rock” music when they studied. Wolfe (1983) found no difference in math test scores with four levels of music loudness, but did find that the subjects’ reported that the “louder” music interfered with their concentration.

    In her dissertation, Cox (1981) reported that classical music used during relaxation therapy had no statistically significant effect on algebra scores. Moller (1980) found no significant difference in math test scores among groups exposed to three conditions: no sound, white noise background, and background music (John Cage’s Fontana Mix). Researchers have reported that the results of this body of literature reveal mixed results (Etaugh & Michaels, 1975; Madsen, 1987). However, finding optimum academic study and testing conditions for a variety of students is of interest to educators in all fields.

    Also, the effects of environmental conditions on learning and performance may reveal keys to the inner workings of the human thought process. In his dissertation, Hedden (1971) proposed five music reaction profiles or music listening styles. These five styles are: associative, cognitive, physical, involvement, and enjoyment. Hedden hypothesized that people listen to music in a combination of five styles where all styles are present ar some level, but one style is predominant. How a person listens to music may affect the possible transfer of cognitive abilities to other curricular areas.

    It is the purpose of this study to investigate the effects of popular and classical music listening styles on undergraduate students’ math test scores. Specifically, this study will seek to determine if any of the five musical styles, as defined by Hedden (1971), will act as a covariate, along with the presence of popular or classical background music, in affecting undergraduates’ math test scores. Hargreaves, David, Mark Tarrant, and Adrian North. “The Effects of Music on Helping Behavior. ” Environment and Behavior 36 (2004). 10 Sep 2005 .

    This was an extremely beneficial study was performed on this topic by Mark Tarrant, David Hargreaves, and Adrian North. These men sought to examine the manipulation of the mind based on music. They played music in a gym and examined the moods through testing their subjects immediately following their workout. They offered the participants the ability to help out a charity, thus examining the affect that the music had on them. They had two different groups which they measured those who listened to annoying music and those who listened were exposed to uplifting music.

    The results revealed that the uplifting music did in fact manipulate the mind by causing the subjects to be more supportive. Weinberger, Norman . The Mozart Effect: A Small Part of the Big Picture. 7 ed. Sacramento: Regents of the University of California, 2000. One particular article we came across examined the effect of classical music’s mathematical rhythms. According to their studies, the format of the mathematical rhythms in Mozart’s pieces contain various factors which enhance mental clarity. Lesiuk, Teresa. “The Effect of music listening on work performance. ” Psychology of Music.

    This journal article found results that indicate that in a work environment, quality of work is lowest with no music and time-on-task was longest with no music as well. It also states the environments with music help mood and increase quality of work when music is present. We hope that our experiment shows these results as well. Platel, H. “The Structural Components of Music Perception. A Functional Anatomical Study. ” Brain. Vol 120, Issue 2: 229-243. Oxford University Press 1997. This journal article relates to our experiment in a more medical standpoint.

    Their experiment explores the relationship between the cerebral structures and music appreciation. It is essential that we look at medical journal articles so we understand the medical basis to our experiment. Our mind is complex and extraordinary and music plays a profound affect on our brain and the way it works. McCraty, R. “The Effects of Different Types of Music on Mood, Tension, and Mental Clarity. ” Pub Med. 1998 Jan; 4 (1): 75-84. 7 Sep 2005. . This journal article touched on not only music and its effect on work efficiency, but also music’s effect on tension, mood and mental clarity.

    Because it includes more than just mental clarity, it gives us more information and research to work with. The study found that designer music (music made to have a specific effect on the listener) increased positive feelings and concentration levels. This journal article has many similarities to our experiment and coincides with our hypothesis. Florentine, Mary. “On the Behavioral Characteristics of Loud-Music Listening. ” Ear and Hearing: The Official Journal of the American Auditory Society. 19(6):420-428, 1998 Dec. This journal discusses behavior and its link to listening excessively to loud music.

    They created a survey and test 90 subjects. Eight of the surveyors showed behaviors that are present in substance abusers. This is relevant to our experiment because we will be using rock and other types of loud music to measure concentration this journal taps into the musical category. Sweeney, J. C. “The Role of Cognitions and Emotions in the Music-approach-avoidance Behavior Relationhip. ” Journal of Services Marketing. Vol 16, 1: 51-69. March 2002. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This study dealt with an experiment in a women’s fashion store.

    This journal differed from the other’s we researched, however it touched on a different aspect of our experiment. The journal states that music affects customer’s perceptions of service quality as well as feelings of arousals in terms of a women’s fashion store. After reading different journals like this one, it is obvious that music affects all aspects of life, not just mood and concentration. McCraty, Rollin. “The Effects of Different Types of Music on Mood, Tension, and Mental Clarity. ” HeartMath 76 (2002). 17 Sep 2005 . A third study we found, looked into the connections between music, mood, and mental clarity.

    They sought to test the different effects that diverse genres of music had on subjects through psychological questioning and profiling. They tested four genres of music from various corners of the music world; Grunge Rock, New Age, Classical, and Designer. The results were conclusive in revealing that grunge rock evoked hostility and greatly reduced mental clarity and motivation. We found this particularly important to our studies as we also plan to test primarily college students who commonly listen to grunge music. Carroll, Robert Todd.

    “Mozart Effect. The Skeptic’s Dictionary 2005. . This article explores the effect that Mozart music has on the mind. It gives the history of the scientist who examined this issue. They included statistics to prove their case the students do better when they are exposed to Mozart and classical music. This article correlates to our hypothesis that classical music will improve concentration. http://skepdic. com/mozart. html O’Donnell, Laurence. Music and the Brain. 1999. 17 Sep 2005. . This article emphasizes the power of music on memory and learning, the effects of music.

    It concludes that people who study music have better GPAs and are higher achievers than those who aren’t in music. It included the fact that “Hungary, Japan, and the Netherlands, the top three academic countries in the world, all place a great emphasis on music education and participation in music. ” http://www. cerebromente. org. br/n15/mente/musica. html This bar chart shows that mostly students of 15-24 age group don’t like background music during their lectures. Green and blue bars show peoples with disagree and strongly disagree respectively. Whereas students from 25-34 age group agree that they like to listen music during their lecture.

    Ho is rejected and H1 is accepted Because the all P values are > 0. 05 so it’s there is no relationship between the statements and age. They are independent. H0 is accepted and H1 is rejected. But the last Question in which P value is less than 0. 05 so it’s mean that there is some relation between age group and this question. They are dependent. H0 is rejected and H1 is accepted. This bar chart shows that majority of the students of different gender said that during mathematic practice they listen music. Mostly students are agreeing and remaining majority are strongly agree.

    Majority students in male they think that music can increase their performance in mathematics but majority of female student they don’t think so, they think that music doesn’t increase their performance in mathematics. In this bar chart majority of male students are agree that music and math has a very deep connection. They are just agree not too much strongly agree. But In female students almost equal students are neutral or agree with the statement. Do you feel that you have good grades in those subjects in which you listen music?

    Do you think background Music can increase your performance in Mathematics? Ho: Attributes are independent H1: Attributes are dependent P>0. 05 Ho is accepted and H1 is rejected P<0. 05 Ho is rejected and H1 is accepted Because the all P values are > 0. 05 so it’s there is no relationship between the statements and gender. They are independent. H0 is accepted and H1 is rejected. But the Questions in which P value is less than 0. 5 so it’s mean that there is some relation between age group and this question. They are dependent. H0 is rejected and H1 is accepted. This bar chart shows that mostly student from single group they are disagree or strongly disagree that they like background music during their lecture. Married also don’t like background music during their lecture but widow they are agree that they like music during their lecture. From single group majority of the student don’t like to listen music during their exams and married also don’t like to listen music during exams but separated and widow they are agree that they like to listen music during exams.

    They are independent. H0 is accepted and H1 is rejected. But the Questions in which P value is less than 0. 05 so it’s mean that there is some relation between age group and this question. They are dependent. H0 is rejected and H1 is accepted. This bar chart shows that majority students from different departments said that they like music very much and they love music. Their extend is very high. Students from all departments except medical they said that they don’t like to listen music during their lectures. Whereas medical students they said that they like to listen music during their lectures.

    They are independent. H0 is accepted and H1 is rejected. But the Questions in which P value is less than 0. 05 so it’s mean that there is some relation between age group and this question. They are dependent. H0 is rejected and H1 is accepted. Students from intermediate, under graduate and post graduate mostly of them are neutral and from m. phil and p. hd they are disagree that they think background music is better than songs. In under graduate and post graduate remaining majority are agree that they think that background is better than songs. Students from intermediate, m. hil and under graduate they are agree that math and music has a deep connection whereas from post graduate mostly are neutral and then agree that there is a deep connection in p. hd equal students are disagree and equal are agree. Students from different educational status they are neutral on this question and their remaining majority is disagree but in p. hd all students are agree or strongly agree it’s mean that that they think they got good grade.

    Do you want to listen music during exams? Ho: Attributes are independent H1: Attributes are dependent 0. 05 Ho is accepted and H1 is rejected P<0. 05 Ho is rejected and H1 is accepted Because the all P values are > 0. 05 so it’s there is no relationship between the statements and educational status. They are independent.

    H0 is accepted and H1 is rejected.


    1. Cox, M. 0. (1981).
    2. Effects of hypnotherapy and relaxation training on mathematics achievement. (Doctoral Dissertation, Texas A&M University, 1981).
    3. Dissertation Abstracts IntemationaL 42/10, 4186. Etaugh, C. , & Michaels, D. (1975).
    4. Effects on reading comprehension of preferred music and frequency of studying to music. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 41, 553-554. Friedman, B. (1959).
    5. An evaluation of the achievement in reading and arithmetic of pupils in elementary school instrumental music classes. (Doctoral Dissertation, New York University, 1959).
    6. Dissertation AbstractsInternational, 60, 3662-A-3663A. Greenberg, R. P. , & Fisher, S. (1971).
    7. Some differential effects of music on projective and structured psychological tests. Psychological Reports, 28, 817-818. Hanshumaker, J. (1980).
    8. The effects of arts education on intellectual and social development: A review of selected research. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 61, 10-28. Hedden, S. K. (1971).
    9. A multivariate investigation of reaction profiles on music listeners and their relationships with various autochthonous and experiential characteristics. Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Kansas, 1971).
    10. Dissertation Abstracts International, 32 2120A. Henderson, M. T. , Crews, A. , & Barlow, J. (1945).
    11. A study of the effect of music distraction on reading efficiency. Journal of Applied Psychology, 29, 313-317. Kelly, S. (1993).
    12. A comparison of the effects of background music on the reading comprehension of university undergraduate music majors and nonmusic majors. Southeastern Journal of Music Education, 5, 86-97. LaBach, J. P. (1960).

    The effects of background music on reading comprehension and various other characteristics.

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