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Music: Its Effect to Reading Comprehension

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sweetlover10
Words 778
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Silor (2012) There are several types of music within our culture. Jazz, rhythm and blues, rap, rock, and classical are some examples of types of music people listen to. Each individual has their own preference for the type they like the best. People of all ages listen to music. Everyone knows someone who likes to listen to some music while they work. it’s a widely held popular belief that listening to music while working can serve as a concentration aid, and if you walk into a public library or a café these days it’s hard not to notice a sea of white ear-buds and other headphones. Some find the music relaxing, others energizing, while others simply find it pleasurable. But does listening to music while working really improve focus? It seems like a counterintuitive belief–we know that the brain has inherently limited cognitive resources, including attentional capacity, and it seems natural that trying to perform two tasks simultaneously would cause decreased performance on both. Music can affect us in many different ways.Several students listen to music while studying. Music can affect our moods as well as our ability to concentrate depending on how often we listen to music and the type of personality we have, according to some of the research. One factor that may affect studying with music is the complexity of the music that is listened to. Kiger (n.d) as cited in by Lee (year)performed a study testing reading comprehension with one of three conditions. One was no sound, second was low information-load music and the third was high information-load. He characterized the information-load as the amount of loudness, variety, complexity, and tonal range of the music. The results of his study showed participants who read passages in the presence of low information-load music performed significantly better than either that who read in silence or with high information-load background music. Kiger as cited in by Lee states that high information-load may produce tension and anxiety which impair the performance of complex tasks. As for low information-load, the study shows a lowering of arousal and thus improves performance. Experience with music at a young age in effect can "fine-tune" the brain's auditory system. "Increasing music experience appears to benefit all children -- whether musically exceptional or not -- in a wide range of learning activities," says Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and senior author of the study. "Our findings underscore the pervasive impact of musical training on neurological development.
A study done by Etaugh and Michaels as cited in by Osamah found that college students who normal listened to music while studying did better on the reading comprehension test.
Jonathon Bolduc's overview of research regarding the connection between music and literacy shows that music instruction can improve a student's reading skills when used in conjunction with more traditional instruction. In the study, Register, Darrow, Standley, and Swedberg reported that music made improvement in the reading skill of the students who had already had disability in reading.

Gillis 2010
Etaugh and Michaels (1975) found that college aged students who usually listen to music while studying performed better on a reading comprehension test in the presence of music. They also found that males performed better than females while listening to preferred music. This indicates that unfamiliar sounds are more distracting than familiar sounds.
Tucker and Bushman (1991) studied the effects of rock and roll music on mathematical, verbal, and reading comprehension tasks. Results showed that performance of mathematical and verbal skills decreased, whereas reading comprehension remained consistent.

Liapis, Giddens and Uhlenlorok (2008) examined the impact of lyrical and nonlyrical music on reading comprehension. Participants were divided into two groups. Each group was made to read the same comprehension under two different musical conditions: one group while listening to a song with lyrics (lyrical condition) and the other while listening to the same song without lyrics (non-lyrics condition). It was proved that participants in the non-lyrics condition obtained higher scores than those in the lyrical condition.
Register, Standly and Swedberg (2007) proved that music enables us to enhance the reading skills of students who have reading disabilities.
In a similar study, Liapis, Giddens and Uhlenbrok (2008) tested the impacts of lyrical and non-lyrical music on reading comprehension. Participants were divided into two groups and each group was asked to read the same article under two different musical conditions, one while listening to a song with lyrics (lyrical condition) and the other while listening to the same song without any lyrics (non-lyrical condition). Participants in the non-lyrical condition had better scores.

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