Combining music and studying a good idea?


Wherever you are, you’ll see people listening to music. All the music genres included. The funny thing is, that it doesn’t matter what you are doing; music is everywhere. Years ago, scientists found out that listening to Mozart could result in higher scores on a reasoning test. This study is also known as ‘The Mozart Effect’. However, not long after this, the truth went into the world; there isn’t something called ‘The Mozart Effect’. If there isn’t something called ‘The Mozart Effect’, how come some students swear by studying with music?

If we get distracted fast…

For starters, the brain is a really difficult thing. Listening to music can work both ways, it can distract us but it can also help us. If music, or sounds in general,  makes us faster distracted we’ll try to find a complete silent place…right? Wherever you go, a fully silent place cannot be found. Try Polak or the University Library, there is always some sort of noise; eating, walking and chairs being moved. Thus it doesn’t really matter where you study. One way or another, you can be distracted everywhere.

Mitzi Baker found out that music can help with paying attention. He said that music actually engages with the brain areas that are involved with paying attention.

But why do we listen to music…?

So that is when the headphones will be in the picture. To feel less distracted we put on our headphones and start studying. There are studies that show how music works as a positive effect on people’s work and learning. One of these studies is from Fox and Embrey (1972). This study showed that music really can improve work performances. However, this is only true when music is played just after someone has reached their highest level of attention. So when you’re listening to music the whole time your studying, you won’t be getting any higher grades.

Is it a personality trait?

There are multiple studies that show that argue whether listening to music during studying  is helpful. We might never know what really works. The brain is a really weird thing. However, listening to music while studying might be within some personality trait. More introverted people might need a lower amount of stimuli for an optimal result. While more extroverted people need more stimuli and are more likely to choose a busy environment. Even so, the studies cannot find significant differences between personalities.

But what IS the magic of music?

However there is something that music does to us and that is what keeps us listening.

We’re now in the middle of our exams and the stress is running high. Did you know that there are studies that have proven – when you are studying, music can help with reducing stress. Listening to the music can reduce blood pressure, anxiety levels and heart rate. And when we feel less stressed, we will be able to improve our performance. In addition to this, studies have shown that music can trigger your emotions. So, we have to improve our emotional state, by listening to music that you personally enjoy for a better performance.

We can say that there is some sort of magic to music. Studies have linked music, memory and emotions that can influence each other. You are the one that knows best if music helps you with studying. To be honest, I am listening to some music while writing this article. It is on the background, just the music, no lyrics included.

So reduce your stress levels with your favorite kind of music before your study session. Don’t forget your headphones, and try not to get distracted.

“Stay positive, work hard, make it happen”


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