Picture the scene.
You’re sitting at your desk, hard at work with a book open, headphones in and beats pumping. Your friend walks in and grabs your attention.
“How can you listen to music while you learn? Doesn’t it distract you?”
You stare at her, forming a response. Without actually considering whether background music is better or worse for your studies, you tell her that it’s obviously okay. In fact, you reckon it may help your productivity.
But does it really help?
The truth is, it can.
The Advantages of Listening to Music While Studying
There have been numerous studies researching the link between mental performance and musical influence. Many show that there are serious advantages to listening to music before and during studying. In addition to the more obvious benefits of heightened creativity and improved mood, other potential perks include:
Lowered blood pressure
Studying can be stressful, and stress is often linked to high blood pressure.
Luckily, music can help! Studies have shown that listening to music with a slow tempo can decrease your blood pressure, while a fast-paced tempo can increase it.
Reduction in stress and anxiety
Listening to music is said to make you a happier person! This is because your body releases endorphins when you turn on the tunes. Research shows that listening to music can elevate your dopamine levels, making you feel more contentment and joy. A happy mood is also linked to better performance in memory and learning. So don’t forget to add happy songs to your playlist before you sit down to study!
The Mozart Effect
In the 1990s, researcher Dr Gordon Shaw developed a concept called The Mozart Effect, which theorized that listening to classical music could help you become more intelligent. The research was based on the link between musical melodies and notes and brain activities, showing how music can help deepen concentration and creativity.
Although this research shows the perks of playing music while learning, it does mean you should try to create your Spotify Study Playlist with only classical music.
The Downside of Listening to Music While Studying
While there are many perks to pumping the beats while focusing on your studies, there are also some distracting drawbacks to consider.
Researchers often find that music with lyrics can be distracting, making it difficult to complete reading and writing exercises. Lyrics also hinder the retention of information, meaning particular details of your studies may be absorbed less well.
So, Should I Trash the Tunes?
Ultimately, the decision to listen to music while you study rests with you. If you find your concentration spiking with songs, plug in the headphones and turn up your studies!