Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Turn it Up!

> Do you listen to music when you work? Does it help you think? Does it make you more productive? Or does it hamper your creativity or your thinking?
> I took lots of art and drawing classes in college, but I specifically remember one day in a head/face-drawing class. It was an informal setting—we drew from a live model, and while we usually concentrated on what we were doing, we could chat, or take short breaks to get up and walk around. Someone had brought in some music, and we were all enjoying it. The professor, who usually sat and drew along with us, was discussing that music was distracting from the thinking process. He argued that while you're listening, you often hum or sing along (either out loud or in your own mind), and that your brain is using it's power of recall to do that. So if your brain is multi-tasking—thinking of lyrics or a melody, as well as trying to come up with a creative concept, or concentrating on your project—your capacity to be creative, or effective is reduced.
> On one hand, I agree that he's on to something. But on the other hand, I know from years of experience, that music has often been helpful to my creative process. At times, listening to my favorite music makes creative thinking more effortless. And time passes by more quickly when I'm burdened with repetitive production tasks. Now, if I'm writing, or working on a proposal, I typically turn off the music, I find it distracting. But creativity? Music turns it up a notch for me. What about you?

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