Many of us love listening to music while we work or do other tasks that require focus. When you can tap into the right formula, you’ve probably found that you get a significant productivity boost from it. Is it just because music is enjoyable, or is there neurological activity behind it that we can tap into to maximize our focus?
In this episode, which was originally published in 2014, I interview musician, scientist, song writer, and technology inventor Will Henshall. Will is the founder of Focus@Will, a neuroscience based web and mobile app that uses sequenced instrumental music tracks to increase your attention span up to 400% when working and studying.
Will was the founder of the British pop-soul band Londonbeat and had two Billboard #1 hit records. He also created and sold multiple companies. With Focus@Will, his goal is to work with audio to find the right music at the right place at the right time. Will got interested in the way that human beings react to music. He started talking to people he knew about what music they were listening to while working, studying, and reading.
We often think of listening to music as something that we do actively, like going to a show or singing along to our favorite albums. But there’s a whole other part of ourselves that consumes music unconsciously and as a background element in our lives. This background music is what drove Will to start to look at the neuroscience of the intersection of music and focus. He wanted to answer the question: is there a way to find specific kinds of music that will help you get into a flow state for working and studying?
Listen to this episode to learn the answer to that question, and how Will used neuroscience to find it. We also talk about how music can benefit the focus of some people with ADHD, how teenagers’ brains interpret music, creating habits for your brain, and a couple of takeaway tips to increase work and study flow.
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WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER
- The background of Will’s career and research
- The neuroscience of music
- The parts of the brain that affect emotion and focus
- How those parts of the brain interact with music
- Potential benefits for people with ADHD
- Music + teenagers
- Habituating of the brain.
- Two takeaways to increase work and study flow