When it comes to analyzing the many benefits that music has on the brain, many sources concur. According to CNN, a Levitin and colleagues study from the Journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences reported less stress and anxiety among patients who listened to music prior to surgery. The National Endowment for the Arts reports improved academics and career drive among young adults who engage in music related coursework in the Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth study. The benefits of music are most often agreeable. Yet, the idea of music in the workplace is not so universal. Annie Murphy Paul of Time magazine recently presented both sides of the debate. She described music's ability to enable workers to tune out background noise in a busy office, but also revealed studies that described music as a distraction or even a potential hazard. Dr. Teresa Lesiuk shows a different perspective in a Psychology of Music study titled, the Effect of Music Listening on Work Performance. She shows a positive correlation between improved mood and work performance in music listeners. Most studies show increased productivity, improved concentration and an elevated frame of mind among those who listen to music at work; as opposed to negative consequences. But the argument doesn't stop there. The next debate is selecting the right service to blast your favorite tunes. With a plethora of mainstream options like Pandora, Spotify and ITunes, how do you decide? Take notes on these top picks. Harmonious Freedom There is nothing mythical about free streaming music for Pandora. The name brings remembrance to the magical jar in Greek mythology, but the offering is quite modern - personalized music in a simple format. It allows you to stream music from your phone, car or the web. Once you've selected your favorite genres and artists, your playlist is automated. You may endure a few commercials here and there, but they aren't excessively annoying. You can also opt for a subscription based service for a small fee. Best of all, you can select more easy going stations like jazz or classical music to keep you uplifted and motivated in the office. Eat More Music Spotify, a subscription based music streaming service boasting of over 20 million songs, may just tempt you to enjoy lunch at your desk. Unlike Pandora, this service allows you to create your own playlist or catalogue. After downloading the application to your desktop, you can easily select your favorite artists or genres. Its most unique feature is the ability to play any individual song on demand. For a small fee, you can enjoy uninterrupted listening to help you breeze through a long day of work. Turn Up If owning your own music seems more harmonious, ITunes is the best option. The convenience of purchasing material that fits your preference is just a click away - IF you own an Apple device. With ITunes radio you can even preview new material prior to making a purchase. With a catalog of over 27 million songs and exceptional sound quality, you'll never run out of ways to stay motivated. If those options don't fit your fancy the list goes on. You can try Rdio's catalog of 25 million songs or Beats Music's catalog of 20 million songs. Google Play Music, Rhapsody, Napster, Sony Music Unlimited, Last.fm and WiMP are other services that will keep your performance optimal. However, there is one additional consideration. The American Hearing Research Foundation says that excessive loud music can cause hearing impairment, so please use caution.
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