Music, it Calms the Savage Woodworker

Do you listen to music while you work in the shop?  Maybe you should if you’re not already.  Studies have demonstrated that music can have the effect of reducing stress and improving focus.  If you are ever sedated and put under the knife of a surgeon, chances are he is doing the cutting to the sounds of music.  Aside from its calming attributes, music has also been shown to enhance learning and memory when played during an activity; I find this fascinating.  As a woodworker these benefits have the potential to be profound.  When learning to cut dovetails for example, playing music while cutting them has the potential to relax you and help to ingrain the required procedural memory.  Any time a new task is learned or practiced, any woodworker could potentially gain more from the experience by playing music.  Googling the association between music and learning/memory will reveal dozens of articles, studies and anecdotes.

Unfortunately for me, as a video content creator, most of the time I can’t listen to music as I work in the shop; it would muck up the video production pretty good.  But, I do like to listen to music when the camera isn’t rolling.

I’d LOVE to get a little feedback from you guys.  Do you listen to music in the woodshop?  Do you find it helpful?  What kind of music do you play and does it change with the type of task you are doing?

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One Response to “Music, it Calms the Savage Woodworker”

  1. Ray says:

    I listen to music all the time in the shop. I have playlists of everything from Celtic to C&W and Beatles to Bach. It all depends on the type of mood and intricacy or repetitiveness of the work I’m doing. If I’m doing rough turning or milling/ dimensioning stock I’ll rock out. If it’s thread chasing or finials I’ll listen to Scottish Dancing music (jigs/reels) for its rhythmic nature. If I’m cleaning / organizing or doing my wandering through the shop looking for inspiration it could be C&W or Celtic ballads. Of course there’s always time for some stand-up comedy!

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