Professional Development for Quality Teaching


Can Background Music Help Learning?

Published: Jul 2020
15 mins


The theory that playing music quietly in the background of lessons can stimulate better concentration is put to the test in a Birmingham secondary school.

At Moseley Secondary School in Birmingham, musician Vo Fletcher plays recorded music in the background during a science revision lesson.

Psychologist Dr Penny Upton from the University of Worcester, observes the students taking part in the revision activities both with and without the music playing.

She keeps an eye on the students' behaviour, and witnesses some remarkable changes when the music is playing. Teacher John Crawshaw is observed too, and as the experiment proceeds his behaviour also seems to be changing.

He seems calmer and more relaxed as his students become more engaged in the tasks set for them.

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