English and Foreign Language Learner Benefits of Listening to Music
How can you effectively use music in your English or foreign language learning class room? Listening to certain types of music has quite a number of additional benefits which go far beyond teaching and learning as we examined in a previous article. The impact of music and songs in ELT is well-documented. Now let’s continue our brief overview with five additional benefits of listening to music.
Additional Benefits of Listening to Music
o Reduces Errors
With the improved integration and function of the brain and its two hemispheres, comes improved concentration and thinking ability. This immediately impacts our normal functioning by reducing the number of incorrect resolutions and responses to problems. Whatever you may be thinking or doing, you’ll simply do it better.
o Aids in Digestion
Imagine the nicest, fanciest, and most expensive restaurant you can. The food will be exquisite of course. Are they playing music in the restaurant? Very likely so, but is the music Heavy Metal Rock, Rap, Hip Hop or Acid Jazz? Almost certainly not. The music played will of a type designed to promote a pleasant emotional and digestive state. Music has long been used to enhance the dining experience in one way or another.
o Helps to Regulate Moods
As touched on briefly at bit earlier, our moods and state of mind can be influenced or altered by the use of music. To help relax people in elevators, music is pied into it. The same is true in doctor’s offices, medical and dental clinic waiting areas and even airports. People who have a fear of heights, falling, flying or dentists are helped to calm down a bit and relax.
o Moderates Tempo of Activity
Do you work to music? I and many other professionals often do. When I write, the Beethoven music station is normally playing in the background. At other times I might put smooth jazz in the CD-ROM drive for the mellowing effect it has on me. When I’m on deadline and need to focus along with working quickly, faster-rhythmed Salsa music goes into my CD player. Fast-food restaurants want you to eat quickly, so they play faster-tempo music in the background.
o Aids in Isolation from Noise and Distractions
When you can’t control external sounds and noise, you might try putting on some music to help to mentally “drown out” the distraction. Our ears can be selective, not in what we may hear, but in what we choose to actually listen to. Playing something you like will override distractions and noise which may be in the background.
Many Other Benefits of Listening to Music
These are but some of the hundreds of individual benefits researchers have discovered that are tied to listening to certain types of music. Listening to music has benefits, not only in the EFL or foreign language learning classroom, but in a number of other aspects of our daily lives as well.