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Listening to Music while Studying - Yay or Nay?



Plenty of people swear by music as a helpful tool for studying and working. Others find it impossible to concentrate with any background noise at all.


Music does offer a lot of benefits, including:

  • Improvement in mood

  • Increase in motivation

  • Improvement in memory and brain stimulation

  • Better management of pain and fatigue

It might seem fairly logical that music can improve your study sessions. But not everyone agrees. So does it help or not?

Music doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, so the answer to this question is more complex than a straightforward “yes” or “no.” It’s true that some types of music can boost concentration and memory as well as increase alertness.


The Theory

You have likely heard before that music helps you study. Studies have shown that music produces several positive effects on a human’s brain and body. Music activates left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can improve memory maximize learning and. It can motivate you.

If you’ve ever grappled with a long, exhausting night of studies or work, your resolve to keep studying or working may have started to flag long before you finished.

Perhaps you promised yourself a reward to get through the study session or work target, such as the latest episode of a show you like or you eat something you love.

Research from 2019 suggests music can activate the same reward centers in your brain as other things you enjoy. Rewarding yourself with your favorite music can provide the motivation you need to learn new information/ complete your task.

If you prefer music that doesn’t work well for studying or working, listening to your favorite songs during study breaks could motivate you to study harder or feel motivated to work.


It enhances your mood

Research suggests that a good mood generally improves your learning outcomes and makes you feel like working. You’ll likely have more success with studying and learning new material when you’re feeling good.

Studying or working can be stressful, especially when you don’t entirely understand the subject material or don’t enjoy it. If you feel overwhelmed or upset, putting on some music can help you relax and work more effectively.


It can increase focus

According to a 2007 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, music classical music, specifically can help your brain absorb and interpret new information more easily.

The researchers found evidence to suggest that music can engage your brain in such a way that it trains it to pay better attention to events and make predictions about what might happen.

How does this help you study? Well, if you struggle to make sense of new material, listening to music could make this process easier.

You can also link the ability to make better predictions about events to reasoning skills.

Improved reasoning abilities won’t help you pull answers out of thin air come exam time. But you could notice a difference in your ability to reason your way to these answers based on the information you do have.

In a 2011 study Trusted Source of 41 boys diagnosed with ADHD, background music distracted some of the boys, but it appeared to lead to better performance in the classroom for others.


Proven to Ease Student Stress

The University of Maryland Medical Center reveals that students should “listen to music. Music is an effective stress reducer in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. Research finds that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in heart patients” (UMD Medical Center). This statement reveals the powerful effect songs can have on the human body.

Music is a way to process emotions and strengthen their resolve with being overwhelmed. People often turn to the music they can relate to as it helps them deal with stress. So, if university or corporate life has got you feeling a bit down, dazed or distracted then it might be a good idea to put some music on. Not only will it help you concentrate on your studies, it will also help keep stress at bay and put you in the learning mood.


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