Ever wonder how music affects the body? In this activity, we will learn to measure our heartbeats per minute and use the scientific method to see how music can affect our heart rate.


Did you know that calm music can lower our heart rate, making us more relaxed? The opposite can be said of heavy metal music which is characterized by heavy guitar, powerful drumming, extra low-range bass notes, and aggressive or throaty vocals.

In this experiment we will see how listening to heavy metal music affects our heart rate.

Supplies Needed:
• Stethoscope (optional)
• Timer/watch/phone
• Calculator
• Heavy metal music youtube video– (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Judas Priest, Kiss, Metallica, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne)

We will ask the Testable Question– Will listening to heavy metal music affect my heart rate? If so, how?

Our Hypothesis is – Listening to heavy metal music will accelerate my heart rate. If exposed to this type of music for long periods of time, it may hurt my health.

Our Variables are– The normal environment which is quiet (no music). The other variable is adding heavy metal music.

Materials  we need to conduct the experiment (not included) – Cell phone, access to heavy metal music (Youtube), and a calculator

Materials (included) heart rate chart for each student, cumulative heart rate chart for class if conducting the experiment with multiple participants.

Our Procedure for this experiment–

  1. Practice taking your heart rate, from your neck for 20 seconds. To take your pulse, use two fingers and place your index and third fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe.  Optional: use a stethoscope
  2. Practice multiplying by three to get the heart rate per minute. Refer to the heart rate worksheet.
  3. Now get the baseline heart rate before adding the music. Sit and record heart rate. Repeat two or three times.
  4. Calculate averages (midpoint between the two recordings or average of three).
  5. Now that we have collected the baseline heart rate without music, begin measuring heart rate while listening to heavy metal music.
  6. Now sit and record your heartbeat with heavy metal. Repeat three more times.
  7. Calculate averages (same as number 4)

Data – Make a chart of all participant’s before and after average heart rates using the attached group heart rate worksheet.

Results and Interpretation – Review chart. What was the average heart rate before and after music? What are some things that could interfere with the experiment (music stopped, having trouble feeling the pulse, etc.).

Conclusion –  What results did you get from this experiment? Was our hypothesis correct? Did heavy metal music cause our heart rate to increase or decrease?


Discussion –  If the heart rate increased when listening to heavy metal music, how could that hurt your health?