Music and Attention
Researchers looked at 18 professional musicians who had been practicing music for 12 years compared to 18 nonmusical participants. The nonmusical participants did not have any formal music lessons and could not read music. The study participants watched images while researchers times how long it took for them to respond to changes.
The musicians scored much better than their nonmusical counterparts. The professionals took 53.83 milliseconds to respond while the nonmusical participants took 87.19 milliseconds. They scored better on what is considered ‘executive control’, which relates to the part of the brain responsible for blocking out distractions.
Musical Training Can Improve Focus
Another important takeaway is that attentional control improved proportionally with the number of years the participants had in musical training. So, the more musical training you have, the more effective you are at ignoring insignificant stimuli and maintaining concentration. So, if you’re looking to improve your focus, maybe it’s time to try out an instrument! But, if you’re looking for other ways to improve focus, you might try: