Why Jazz Music Improves Your Focus 

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Every need to get work done? But can’t focus? Let me tell you why listening to Jazz can improve your focus dramatically. 

Let’s first define what Jazz is for my rookies out there. Defined by the National Museum of American History,

Jazz is a kind of music in which improvisation is typically an important part. In most jazz performances, players play solos which they make up on the spot, which requires considerable skill. There is tremendous variety in jazz, but most jazz is very rhythmic, has a forward momentum called “swing,” and uses “bent” or “blue” notes. You can often hear “call–and–response” patterns in jazz, in which one instrument, voice, or part of the band answers another. 

National Museum of American History,

Jazz can express many different emotions, from pain to sheer joy. In jazz, you may hear the sounds of freedom-for the music has been a powerful voice for people suffering unfair treatment because of the color of their skin, or because they lived in a country run by a cruel dictator. 

Jazz has been a part of the creative realm since the 19th century, stemming from the time when African American slaves in the South would play blues music to provide themselves with some sort of emotional relief. As jazz started becoming popular in the early 1900s, it quickly became known as the perfect amalgamation of blues, ragtime and marching band music.

With that said, how can something so chaotic yet beautiful cause someone to increase focus? 

Jazz has been used for decades as a remedy to fight stress and anxiety. Which in return allows us to improve our memory faculties and helps with our learning. This is because Jazz has a profound effect on the type of brain waves you produce.  

Listening to upbeat Jazz music can:

  • Help you focus and raise your heart rate.
  • Provide motivation and reduce fatigue during a workout.
  • Target beats per minute (BPM) should match your heart rate during workout:
    • Walking -115 to 118 BPM
    • Power walking – 137 to 139 BPM
    • Running – 147 to 160 BPM
    • Boost your productivity at work

THETA brain waves (4-8 hertz): Listening to the distinctive syncopation of some jazz can bring about theta brain waves, the most highly creative brain wave. They inspire new insights and solutions to unresolved problems (“Eureka!” moments).

Music Examples for Focus and Energy

Stress Relief

Listening to relaxing music is just as effective at reducing anxiety as a massage.

ALPHA brain waves (8 to 14 hertz): Listening to music around 60 BPM’s can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat, resulting in alpha brainwaves. They make you relaxed but conscious.

DELTA brain waves (under 4 hertz): Listening to calming music in a relaxed position for at least 45 minutes produces delta brainwaves which can induce sleep… better sleep.

Better Sleep: Studies show that just 45 min of soft, slow music (60-80 BPM) like jazz, before bedtime results in better and longer night-time sleep as well as less dysfunction during the day. 

Kobes Love for Jazz

Kobe Bean Bryant had an eclectic taste when it came to music. But one of his favorite genres of music was Jazz. Kobe has been quoted stating Jazz music was his preference before playing games.

Furthermore, he mentioned Jazz would increase his focus as well as keeping him calm, cool and collected before dominating his opponents. One of Kobes favorite Jazz musicians was Miles Davis – Kobe loved his music so much. He dedicated the Kobe 5 after his favorite album Kind Of Blues by Miles Davis.

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