After much research we found that the jazz genre in particular does not work well for focus enhancement. There are a number of reasons why this is so. But the main one is that jazz music in particular is designed to touch your emotional core equally as much as your intellectual conscious appreciation. By definition, it’s created to be listened to, to have you love the subtlety, skill and virtuosity of the players, the way that they refer to solos, melodies and motifs from other jazz material when they take a solo (Miles Davis the master of this for instance). As a genre, it requires, and for great jazz, it demands, your attention – both your emotional and your intellectual attention.
Which is the exact opposite of what we need in Focus@Will. We are delivering a phase sequenced (ie custom timed) music stream that keeps your non-focal attention occupied while working or studying, but not so much that it interferes with your focal attention. In other words we are playing music to engage your subconscious mind. Music that works best has to be interesting enough to keep your subconscious tickled but not too dynamic or attention grabbing to actually be distracting to your conscious mind. We’ve found it’s a very delicate balance.
We found that the beta test jazz genre had the lowest popularity, and when using it with cognitive lab tests we found the channel was the least effective at enhancing focus for most people, and in fact was often having a negative effect! In other words, listening to jazz is actually distracting when you are trying to do something!