What Listening To Music While Studying Does For You

Article by: Gisele F.

Photo by: Suman P.

Although school has just begun, assessments and assignments are rolling in quicker than ever. Everything moves at such a fast pace and days just flow by. How can one possibly get all this work done, with what feels like so little time? Well, what better way to cope and stay in the zone, than listening to music while studying?

The idea of listening to music while trying to get work done is a constantly debated activity on whether it actually is beneficial for anyone. Does it improve one’s concentration and productivity? Here’s what has been found…

Music can really help one stay on task and work effectively. According to Michi Ancheta of Careeraddict.com, listening to music can help you feel less anxious and is a way of relieving stress. Isn’t that something you need as you work through that long list of assignments to go through? Not only that; she goes on to say, “It’s exercise for your brain.” Neuropsychology professor Brenda Hanna-Pladdy of The University of Maryland stated that “musical activity serves as a cognitive exercise for the brain which trains it for more challenges in the future.” An anonymous junior agreed with this as she said, “I listen to music quite often while I study. I find classical and R&B music to be the most helpful.” However she goes on to say that “it can either be very detrimental or supportive for me as sometimes it can motivate me to do things other than studying, especially if there are lyrics in the song.”

On the contrary, further research proves otherwise. Sara Briggs of CollegeOpen.com tells us “Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Music While Studying”. She mentions how at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, there was a study conducted in which participants ages 18-30 were asked to memorize certain things once while listening to music and another while not listening to music. The results showed that the participants did worse when they listened to music and did better when not listening to anything. Freshman Frances K. couldn’t agree more with the idea of not listening to music while she studies. “I don’t really like listening to music while studying because it distracts me; I can’t multitask.” she continues to explain “I feel like if there’s music in the background, it stops me from getting my work done, because I’ll be paying attention to the music.”

With this being a very confusing, contradictory topic on whether listening to music while studying is beneficial or not, all that can be said is that it depends on the individual, as long as you are being honest about what you personally feel is the best studying method. Try working some days with music and some days without to find what works best for you.

Happy studying, Bearcats!