Introduction: Music used by students during studying should help them.
Objectives: To assess the effect of instrumental, background music on concentration and working memory in 1-year medical students.
Materials and Methods: 60-girls and 60-boys of 1-year MBBS, were randomised into music and control groups equally. Concentration was assessed using 3 different forms of SDMT as pre-test, during music/control session and post-test using total, correct and error score. For assessing working memory, Rey-Ostherrieth-complex-figure-test was used. (significant p value
Results: Music group showed significant improvement in correct (p=0.02) and total (p=0.029) scores during post-test while errors reduced (p=0.002). For ROCF, recall was better in music group compared to controls but the values were not statistically significant (p=0.223).
Performance improves with repetition of a specified task; the improvement can be enhanced by associating it with background instrumental music. Conclusion: Performance is best seen at the end of music session showing that, music can increase the required arousal to an optimal level. Instrumental music does not seem to have an influence on working memory, it does not hamper it. Students can be advised to use instrumental music, preferably of raga Malkauns, in background while studying which will help them concentrate better and will not hamper their retention.
Symbol digit modality test, Rey Ostherrieth complex figure test, Instrumental music, Raga Malkauns, MBBS students.