Pupils learn better with Robbie

19th May 2006 at 01:00
Love him or hate him, listening to Robbie Williams, the pop star, can help pupils to concentrate, according to a new study.

Scientists at Vienna university compared the composition of baroque music such as Mozart, Haydn and Bach - which are all widely believed to boost concentration -with traits used in pop music.

They discovered that certain tempos, rhythms and chorus structures in modern songs stimulated children to learn.

They even singled out songs, including "Misunderstood" by Robbie Williams, as well as hits by ex-Spice Girl Mel C, Norah Jones and Ronan Keating, as the perfect background music.

Konrad Zimmermann, director of LernQuadrat, one of Europe's largest providers of after-school private lessons, which funded the research, said they planned to look again at whether silence was the best atmosphere for learning.

He said: "Baroque music is obviously not fit for the young people of today, who prefer pop music. As well as music having the correct tempo, volume and frequency, children need to know and like it in order for it to have a stimulating effect on the brain."

But songs in which the tempo fluctuates or has computerised tones, such as house music, are intrusive and not conducive to learning, the study found.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now