The Effect of Lyrical and Instrumental Music on Reading Comprehension Tasks

(1) The Neighborhood Academy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Many studies have investigated if music can impact a person’s productivity, with varying results reported. Some students argue that music is helpful to their work, but some people think otherwise. Studying this topic is important because teachers might play music while students are working to help students be more focused in class. We tested 37 people in four different conditions: silence, instrumental, Spanish, and English music, using four different reading comprehension articles. We found that English lyrical music is not helpful to most students, compared to silence. Foreign and instrumental music did not help or hurt based on our data because there was not a significant difference between them and the silence condition. Therefore, we recommend that students and teachers use foreign language or instrumental music instead of music with English lyrics when working on reading tasks.

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reading comprehension music productivity
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