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Andrew McCluskey
Works at music2work2
Attended Berklee College of Music
Lives in Los Angeles
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Andrew McCluskey
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A write up of a small 2005 study that looked at how music figured in dreams by comparing dream diaries of 35 musicians against 35 non musicians.  I guess unsurprisingly enough the musicians dreamed of music more than twice as much as the non-musicians - but the really fun part was that about half of the music recalled by the dreamers was "non-standard."  

The idea that you can be creating new music when you're asleep is mighty enticing and is in line with the famous "sleeping compositions" of Berlioz and Stravinsky.    I know from my own experience that I can wake with a theme in my head that surely wasn't there the night before.  I really like this and it fits nicely with the idea of flow and subconscious creativity - I'm guessing it doesn't have to be just music either!
Source Uga, Valerie, Maria C. Lemut, Chiara Zampi, Iole Zille, and Piero Salzarulo. "Music in             Dreams." Consciousness and Cognition 15 (2006): 351-57. Science Direct. 21             Oct. 2005. Web. 16 Oct. 2013...
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Andrew McCluskey
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Discussion  - 
 
This is a really fascinating study - it took me a while to work out and explain exactly what was going on - but bear with me - 'cos the results are super interesting.   This is from the Neuroaesthetics of Music Group up in Helsinki Finland.  73 subjects and using an FMRI to look at what's happening in the brain!

Three things you need to hold in your head:

Thing 1:

This is a basic learning test - where the subjects are presented with a pair of symbols and they are trained to select and remember the correct one.  They get three rounds of training and feedback is given with either a smiley or a frowny face.  After training, they are given a test and are scored on how many they get right.

Thing 2:

Before the testing, the subjects are given 14 pieces of music which they self select into 3 pieces of "neutral" music and 3 pieces of "pleasurable" music.  They also answer a series of questions about their personal musical experiences.

Thing 3:

This is the fun bit - while the subjects are doing the learning and the testing - they are being played either neutral music or pleasurable music (self identified remember?)  This enables the researchers to test the effect of different music types on learning behavior and to match it against musical experience - genius!

OK - so you've got those three things in your head - now let's look at the results.

Results
Seems that if you're someone with a lot of musical experience - you learn better when listening to neutral music - but you test better when listening to pleasurable music.

If you're less musical - you learn better with pleasurable music, but you test better with neutral music - the complete opposite.

That's pretty interesting!  The researchers propose that this is due to different listening strategies between the two groups which would make sense - but what does that mean.

I reckon that as a musician I'm naturally more attuned to devote mental resource to music than a non-musician and I'm likely to devote even more resource to music that I like.  So - when I'm learning something - when I'm forming neural pathways and connections - I want as much resource made available to me as possible - so - neutral music is better.  However - when I'm testing - which is more about recall and memory than it is about building - then I want to feel good - I want to juice my system - so - even though I might lose some resource by listening to music I like - I feel significantly better - which impacts and improves my test performance.

As a non-musician - the difference between resource allocated to neutral or pleasurable music is probably a lot less, so when it comes to learning - the "feel good" factor of pleasurable music seems to outweigh the  resource cost.  However - when it comes to testing - it might be that the resource cost of pleasurable music may become distracting and outweighs the feel good factor.

Who knows?

I think this kind of research and study is amazing and could lead to massive changes in how we learn and perform and the role of music within that process.  You go Helsinki!
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Great example of how not to please your customers - I love the end comment which basically says - take the money from marketing and spend it on getting the website right!
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Another study closing in on the relationship between music and language - basically - people who can keep a beat may be able to process language more effectively.  The thinking goes that if you have trained yourself to keep time by establishing closer connections between the auditory and motor cortexes - that understanding of rhythm benefits you when you're looking to understand the spoken word - specifically when you're learning how to read.   The researcher reckons that increased musical training is going to benefit the acquisition of language skills.  get your kids in music class! The sample size was 124 high school students.
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Andrew McCluskey
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Mozart Schmozart - super interesting study but I wish they'd use some different types of music.  The core of this study is that music playing in the background has an effect on cognitive dissonance - they explain it really well in the article so I'm not gonna rehash it here - but bsically it is more evidence that music can improve the human condition.  

Now - back on the soap box - if only they'd had the time and sample size to test a few different types of music.  I'm a huge Mozart fan but I'd hate people to get the idea that only classical music - and Mozart in particular - can deliver the type of effect that studies like this demonstrate.  They admit to not understanding the mechanism behind the behavior so please - don't attribute the power of music to Mozart alone - I suspect that it could be pretty much any pleasing auditory stimulus - and pleasing is an incredibly subjective and emotive word!
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Getting Back Together - Essay Writing Music

When I'm using music as an accompaniment to something I'm doing - in this case writing an essay - I don't want it to get "too" interesting all of a sudden.  The idea of taking a theme and slowly working it, gently twisting and developing it into new shapes and sounds makes a lot of sense to me.  It's different enough to allow the brain to notice the change, but not too different that it has to devote extra resource to processing it.

The title reflects the optimism I was feeling at the time of composition and resonates with how I feel about creating.  I'm a huge fan of the Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk, if you haven't seen it it's well worth 20 minutes of your time - Google it.    I think the act of creation is kind of like a partnership - a partnership between the self and some other "thing" that  shows up when you're on a roll.

I'm fascinated by the idea of flow - by the state you get into when you lose track of time and everything is just coming out of your pen easily with what seems like little or no input from your conscious mind.  Elizabeth Gilbert would call that the Genius in the room - I don't know what I'd call it but when it happens, I'm very glad to be back together with it.

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Have him in circles
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Andrew McCluskey

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
This is a really fascinating study - it took me a while to work out and explain exactly what was going on - but bear with me - 'cos the results are super interesting.   This is from the Neuroaesthetics of Music Group up in Helsinki Finland.  73 subjects and using an FMRI to look at what's happening in the brain!

Three things you need to hold in your head:

Thing 1:

This is a basic learning test - where the subjects are presented with a pair of symbols and they are trained to select and remember the correct one.  They get three rounds of training and feedback is given with either a smiley or a frowny face.  After training, they are given a test and are scored on how many they get right.

Thing 2:

Before the testing, the subjects are given 14 pieces of music which they self select into 3 pieces of "neutral" music and 3 pieces of "pleasurable" music.  They also answer a series of questions about their personal musical experiences.

Thing 3:

This is the fun bit - while the subjects are doing the learning and the testing - they are being played either neutral music or pleasurable music (self identified remember?)  This enables the researchers to test the effect of different music types on learning behavior and to match it against musical experience - genius!

OK - so you've got those three things in your head - now let's look at the results.

Results
Seems that if you're someone with a lot of musical experience - you learn better when listening to neutral music - but you test better when listening to pleasurable music.

If you're less musical - you learn better with pleasurable music, but you test better with neutral music - the complete opposite.

That's pretty interesting!  The researchers propose that this is due to different listening strategies between the two groups which would make sense - but what does that mean.

I reckon that as a musician I'm naturally more attuned to devote mental resource to music than a non-musician and I'm likely to devote even more resource to music that I like.  So - when I'm learning something - when I'm forming neural pathways and connections - I want as much resource made available to me as possible - so - neutral music is better.  However - when I'm testing - which is more about recall and memory than it is about building - then I want to feel good - I want to juice my system - so - even though I might lose some resource by listening to music I like - I feel significantly better - which impacts and improves my test performance.

As a non-musician - the difference between resource allocated to neutral or pleasurable music is probably a lot less, so when it comes to learning - the "feel good" factor of pleasurable music seems to outweigh the  resource cost.  However - when it comes to testing - it might be that the resource cost of pleasurable music may become distracting and outweighs the feel good factor.

Who knows?

I think this kind of research and study is amazing and could lead to massive changes in how we learn and perform and the role of music within that process.  You go Helsinki!
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Part 3 of the 4 track Birdsong playlist
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I loved it.  Just a bit of magic.
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Andrew McCluskey
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Feel good music therapy post of the day - plus celebrity musicians - who could ask for anything more.  I like this article as it actually breaks down how the music therapist worked to use music to rehabilitate a former coma patient.  Add in a visit from Coldplay and you've got a story that presents music therapy in a popular as well as legitimate light.  I'm stoked for Ed Buckley - but Jessica Atkinson - the therapist - you go girl!
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Really interesting study out of Turkey and a decent sample size, over 1200 high school students.  They correlated music preference against childhood depression.  Kids with heavy metal music in their playlists had significantly higher depression scores than others.  However these kids also had greater problematic parent issues whereas those with alcohol issues tended to listen to dance and hip-hop. 

Quite what it all means is where it gets dangerous - do you end up depressed and listening to heavy metal 'cos your home environment sucks?  Or do you fall under the "spell" of the metal gods and suddenly turn into a surly teenager with no respect?

I severely doubt the latter but you can bet that that's the spin the press will put on it if it gets hold the study.
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Andrew McCluskey
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Sure it's a tiny study - 24 boys and 24 girls aged four - but the figure that those in the music group were up to thirty times more likely to help than those in the no music group is pretty astonishing.  
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Have him in circles
37 people
Holly Hawkins's profile photo
Matthew Breddan's profile photo
Andrew McCluskey's profile photo
Kris Scott's profile photo
Eva Rosenberg's profile photo
Jon Baltz's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Music / Content Consulting
Employment
  • music2work2
    Composer, 2006 - present
  • Simply Friday
    Owner, 2011 - 2013
  • EDNF
    President / CEO, 2003 - 2006
  • Marks & Spencer
    Buyer, 1992 - 1999
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Singapore, Scotland, England, Germany, Australia, America
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Music, media, marketing, but mostly music to work to...
Introduction
music2work2

music2work2 tracks are particularly popular with people who are looking for essay writing music, study music playlists or music to write a paper to.



SimplyFriday

One on one content consulting for business owners - helping them drive traffic and reputation

Education
  • Berklee College of Music
    Digital Marketing, 2010
  • Westminster University
    Psychology
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Andrew McCluskey's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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I bought a new Sony thing yesterday. We don't need to talk about that right now, we'll get to it later. It came with one of those very thick

The association of music preferences and depressive symptoms in high sch...
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Abstract We investigated the association of music preferences with depressive symptoms among high school students in Istanbul; 10th-, 11th-

'Making music may improve young children's behavior'
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Making music can improve both pro-social behavior (voluntary behavior intended to benefit another) and the problem solving skills of young c

Proofreading - Music to Write to
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Up to this point the music has pretty much followed the rules of writing – you’ve seen the theme originate and be developed – but traditiona

Dumb Ways to Die, Smart Way to Win: Q&A with McCann Australia’s John...
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A description of a logo a client wanted: I would like to create a logo of a heartbroken woman in a wheel chair with mascara running down her

Wirehead - Flow Imagery from SAmi Nikki
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Having finished our second collaboration with the movie Moment of Perfection, SAmi and were chatting recently about imagery for the concept

The Myth of Being an Introvert or an Extrovert - - The Buffer Blog
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Have you ever wondered if you're an introvert or extrovert? Or something else altogether? It turns out I was thinking about this concept all

3 Surprising Ways to Instantly Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
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Most people hate public speaking, don’t they? Anecdotally, we hear that people would rather die than have to get up in front of a group of o

This is your brain on Vivaldi and Beatles
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Listening to music activates large networks in the brain, but different kinds of music are processed differently. A team of researchers has

Drafting 2/5 - Music to Write to
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Drafting is the second step of the 5 part writing process - it's where you take the ideas and information generated in the previous prewriti

We don't like unfamiliar music, even though we claim we do
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Spotify. Pandora. iTunes. YouTube. We are constantly bombarded with a seemingly limitless amount of new music in our daily lives. But why do

USF researchers study piano training, brain performance
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USF researchers are using a musical boot camp to find out how intense piano training can alter brain performance in both children and adults

Music influences our moods and levels of energy
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“MUSIC has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak,” wrote the English poet William Congreve in 1697.

Nirvana, Metallica Will Help You Get Pregnant Says Science
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In some rather strange timing, following the In Utero 20th Anniversary campaign that featured the members of Nirvana giving birth, the grung

The power of shutting down your senses: how to boost your creativity and...
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Stopping your senses from sending information to your brain can have surprising benefits on your thinking process and boost your creativity.

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Professor Pierre Magistretti discusses an experiment in that studied the brainwaves of two pianists as they performed together.

Surreal - July 2013 - Music to create flow
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Introducing the fabulous imagery of Kylie Woon: Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/somewherelovely/ This is a theme that's been with me fo

The following was a briefing for some educational...
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The following was a briefing for some educational fire department materials. Client: We want a real image of fire in the windows, but not sa

Not as cheap as it used to be but still good value and the food is always great. Aside from the amazing Tostada Salpicon and awesome Pollo Asada tacos, it's all about the chips and salsa. I love their salsa bar - super hot Pico de Gallo and my favorite roasted red salsa of all time - add to that the warm freshly made deliciously light tortilla chips - and you'll know why we order these specially when we're doing Mexican night at the house.
Food: Very goodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
2 reviews
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