With this experiment, I wanted to see how many students engaged with music while doing work at Uni. I took a sample of the students who were on Level E studying around the computers and found that three quarters of them were wearing headphones. I then asked these people what they were listening to. I found it quite awkward trying to get peoples attention to talk to them and interrupting them from what they were doing – the fact that they were blocking out everything around them showed that they didn’t want to be disturbed! There were 10 females and 5 males listening to music. I found that alot of them were using websites that generate playlists such as 8tracks or Spotify, and had to actually check what song it was that they were listening to. Most people knew the artist but had to check the name of the song. There was also one student who was watching Modern Family while doing their work. There is a mix of different song genres – Reggae, Hip Hop, Pop, Old School and Alternative. Interestingly, 3 people were listening to Frank Ocean. Most of the songs seem pretty chilled out, with a few that are more upbeat. This shows that most people prefer listening to more chilled songs than really energetic and intense songs while doing work.
From talking to some of these people I found out the main reasons why they like to listen to music in this context. The main reason was that they wanted to drown out all the noise around them. The second reason was that it helped them to get ‘in the zone’, get them feeling good and ‘amping’ about what they’re doing. Another point that was made was that they listened to music with words when designing and music with no words when writing. From this I can observe that most students use music as a way of escaping the outside world and to help them to engage with their work. They can bring their inspiration and creativity to this environment through their music, to create a space that enables them to work in a way that suits their learning style. The fact that 75% of people surveyed were listening to music while studying proves that music can be brought into a learning environment to help the user escape the outside distractions and engage them in what they are doing, providing inspiration and creating their own personalised learning experience.