Far too often noise takes away your concentration—loud television, people talking at the top of their voices and the sound of constant traffic. But audio experts say certain sounds make it easier to focus. They include birdsong, which stimulates the mind and relaxes the body.
Over thousands of years, people have learnt when the birds sing they are safe, but if they stop singing people need to worry. Birdsong is also nature's alarm clock. The dawn chorus signals the start of the day, which stimulates our mind and thoughts.
Many people believe birdsong can be of psychological benefit. Treasure has used birdsong to develop a free smartphone app called Study. It claims to be a productivity-boosting soundscape to listen to while you work. It can help focus, improve cognition and reduce tiredness. It's also designed to mask background noise that can disturb concentration, particularly conversation.
Well. I guess some people can't spare the time to take a moment outside to refresh themselves in reality. As a woman of leisure, I remember arriving home from the fiery kitchen at work and strolling into the back courtyard, away from traffic noises. English gardens attract the sound of wonderful birds—the surprising strength wrens calls, the blackbirds warbling song and the robin's night chorus.
The nightingale has probably the most celebrated song, with John Keats describing the bird pouring forth thy soul abroad in such an ecstasy! in his 1819 Ode to a Nightingale.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 1798 poem The Nightingale reads: And hark! the Nightingale begins its song. "Most musical, most melancholy" bird!... so his song should make all Nature lovelier, and itself be loved like Nature!
William Wordsworth wrote the skylark's babbling song dost pour upon the world a flood of harmony in his 1805 verse To a Skylark.
I wrote this poem in my garden several years ago.
The sound tickling my brain
Releasing remembered pain
With ungrasped melody there
At the back, under my hair.
Music made by nearby birds
Although by my ears it's heard
It strokes parts contained within
Tweaking inside with a pin.
Ecstasy for all to feel
Not through chemicals, but real
Pay attention and you'll hear
Every birdsong that is near.
So many different notes
All put forth from tiny throats
Composed in alien ways
Seem to burst forth in relays.
Each note strikes a different part
Of my brain and of my heart
The same feeling that's perceived
When huge fireworks are achieved.
The birdsong lulls me to relax
Pushing out all thoughts that tax
Snatches of memory drift
Other patterns of time shift.