My 5yo always asks Alexa to put songs in the background while she plays, paints etc. There is background music almost all day. Wondering if this has some long term potential to affect her concentration or other abilities? (I know background music gets me totally out of focus but I don't want to force my sensitivities on her).

  • I can "tune out" background noise, of any type like music, or engines etc etc - comes from having to focus on the job in hand. Some can do it, others not. Sounds like you cannot but your daughter can.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 13, 2022 at 19:00

2 Answers 2


In many of the research articles I have reviewed, the idea of background music negatively affecting our children development has been proven. As we all know, we can not control every situation and there is background noise everywhere we go, BUT, when we can control the situation around us, we should. "Yes, it’s true…as much as tv can help those long days pass, it is important to be aware that the quantity and volume of background noise has been found to have adverse effects on the development of language skills in young children" (Hillsberg, 2021). Background noise can be anything from the television to music, even a constant dog barking. Additionally, it has been proven that a clear space and quiet areas, help focus the mind and increase concentration.

Based on the research. I would turn off Alexa when trying to concentrate on certain tasks.

Reference Hillsberg, B. (2021, December 16). Does background noise interfere with language development? Speech Sisters. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from https://speechsisters.com/does-background-noise-interfere-with-language-development/


Anecdotally, some people focus really well with music and find it hard to focus without it, and others can't focus with music. As a teacher, I always had some students who would want to work on their homework while listening to the music because it drowned out the other sounds in the classroom. I also had some students for whom music was too distracting and they needed to focus without music vying for their attention.

Personally, I have music on most of the time, regardless of what I'm doing: cleaning, dishes, programming, playing games, etc. If I need to focus, I listen to instrumental background music that doesn't excite me, like video game soundtracks, piano, or classical music.

The only exception is if I'm driving in an unfamiliar situation at high speeds, I'll turn the music down and pay attention to all things around me (which is a pretty standard behavior).

  • I hope this doesn't sound harsh: you didn't answer the question. OP asks for information regarding "if this has some long term potential to affect her concentration or other abilities?" The answer to this question should be based on a scientific study of music's long term effect on some aspects of cognition. If you can't find such a study, then you do not know the answer. A personal anecdote isn't definitive. Oct 13, 2022 at 17:30
  • Many studies are based on what teachers have noticed especially with regards to how children learn and the conditions in which learning happens. AFAIK there is not one scientific paper defining learning with 100% certainty.
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 13, 2022 at 19:04
  • @SolarMike - I was a scientist, and I know better than to expect anything is 100% reliable (well, I know with 100% certainty that we who are alive today will someday cease to be alive. But I can't think off the top of my head that it's been studied. Why study the obvious?) We're not asking for the moon. Any reasonably reliable study will do just fine. Oct 14, 2022 at 0:46

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