music New Bedford workers listen to
But does it help with productivity or is it a distraction?
A recent USAToday article listed 20 scientifically proven health benefits of music such as improving cognitive performance, helping people perform better in high pressure situations, and reducing anxiety as much as a massage.
And 90% of workers perform better while listening to music, and 88% of employees produce more accurate work while listening, according to recent 2020 study on music and productivity.
When it comes to what type of music works best, 58% of people completed tasks faster while listening to pop music, according to a studywhile 20% of respondents said dance music helps improve proofreading speed and 92% said background music improves data entry accuracy.
Wendy Hall, executive producer of New Bedford Festival Theater says she listens to specifically Russian symphonies. “They give me just the right amount of energy but without distracting my focus,” she said.
Conee Sousa, director of marketing and public relations for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestrasaid the office listens to various playlists by classical composers as well as classic rock, soul, as well as some jazz and folk.
“We find that classical music works great in the background for most of our tasks because it’s soothing and stays focused as we work at lightning speed trying to keep up,” Sousa said.
Listening to classical music, in particular, can increase concentration according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Scientists have revealed that it could help the brain absorb and even interpret new information faster than people who don’t listen to songs.
“We try to keep the vibe lighter on Fridays with the other genres, often playing favorites of whoever’s in the office that day,” Sousa added.
“Some of us have been known to get up and dance for a few minutes just to relieve stress and recharge.”
Listen to Frank Ocean and Phish
Lindsay Miś, Executive Director of Massachusetts Institute of Design Art and Technology (DATMA)said that in her art studio she listens to either Little Dragon, a Swedish electronic music group, or Franck Ocean.
“They both have relaxing R&B and pop vibes that simultaneously get on my nerves and help me focus,” she said.
However, at the office, she said she had to listen to “brown noise,” a type of low-frequency sound, or NPR. “I have to keep my head down. Not fun,” she said.
Anne Louro, assistant city planner, said that because of their open office layout, her sound-cancelling Apple AirPods were the best Christmas present ever.
“I write a lot, so I mostly listen to acoustic music and Apple Chill,” she said.
“I’m also not embarrassed to say that I’m still addicted to Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ albums. They have seriously helped me work remotely during COVID- and are my regular go-to when I need to do something on a deadline.”
Emily the elephant loves her tunes
Jennifer Smith, Superintendent of New Bedford National Historic Whaling Parksaid she liked to listen to the band Phish, but she didn’t like to listen to music often because it could distract her and other people in the office.
Joanne Murray, Director of SouthCoast Women’s Fund said she also doesn’t like to listen to music when she works, but listens to a playlist in her car on the way to work, which includes Van Morrison, Bonnie Rait, Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Stan Getz and Mozart.
At Buttonwood Park Zooexecutive director Sarah Henry also doesn’t listen to music, as it can be distracting, while events and marketing manager Kris Caisse said she listens to podcasts such as ‘That’s Messed Up’ or ‘ Girls Gotta Eat”.
However, according to assistant manager Shara Rapoza, Buttonwood Park Zoo keepers use a variety of enrichments with their animals, and that sometimes includes music.
Fairhaven opens all-access indoor pickleball court — how to reserve it to play
“Emily, one of our resident Asian elephants, loves the sounds of drums and often spends time experimenting with various rhythms on objects in her habitat – barrels, doors, that sort of thing – mimicking the sounds that ‘she hears,” Rapoza said.
Meanwhile, when Justina Perry, Founder of BuyBlackNB isn’t blasting Beyonce’s latest album “Renaissance” in her car, she said she was going with something high-vibration or instrumental to help her focus in the right headspace.
Music that gets people in the mood
She said she also uses the InsightTimer meditative app plus plenty of free energizing songs to get her in the mood.
Margo Saulnier, New Bedford Creatives Director of Creative Strategies, has spent most of her career in the music industry as a professional flautist.
“If I’m stressed, classical or jazz will bring me peace and balance. If I want to get motivated, I rely on 90s hip-hop favorites De La Soul, Missy Elliott, Beastie Boys or current pop icons Lady Gaga and Lizzo,” she said.
There are also two songs by local artists that Saulnier says he’s been listening to a lot lately. One is Candida Rose’s “Love Each Other Through” because she said it was a love letter to the world.
“I also listened “The Dark Star” by Scapeghost because it’s a love letter to me from my husband, Scott Bishop,” Saulnier said.
Seth Chitwood, Standard-Times editor, can be contacted at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.