Listen to Mozart

When I was in university, I had a professor who advised us to listen to Mozart's music while doing our math homework, or writing an exam. He was a believer in the Mozart Effect. I tried it out, and fell into the habit of listening to Mozart and other classical music while solving math, logic or programming problems.

I don't know much about the so-called Mozart effect, and as a skeptic I don't really care about the marketing claims, but I do know this: listening to music can cause your brain to operate differently. Pleasing, complex forms of music like classical music (*and others) can alter your mood, bring about a sense of calm, and cause you to access areas of your brain in different combinations. This is useful for idea generation and problem solving. As testers, we're relied on to generate test ideas, so try listening to Mozart to help provoke your brain to generate new ideas, or when you are analyzing a difficult problem space. You might be surprised at how your brain responds.

* Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert is another good album for me, particularly on a rainy day.