The Impact of Listening to Music While Studying on Learning Outcomes

Whether listening to music while studying has an impact on learning outcomes is a
controversial topic. Some students swear by it, while others find it a distraction. The
impact of music largely depends on the learning style of the student and the type of
music.
A student’s personality can also play a role in its benefits. Various studies back up the
beneficial effects of listening to music while studying, such as stress release and
improvement of mood and concentration.


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Music has an effect on the brain

Some people think music only stimulates the right brain as it is creative in nature, but
brain imaging research shows that it activates both hemispheres. This can have a
positive effect on learning. The left brain will look for patterns it can understand in the
music because it categorizes information and stores it. This ability is an asset when
studying as it helps with memorizing and retaining information.

There are studies that suggest it doesn’t matter what kind of music students listen to but
how well their brain latches on to patterns in the music that affects their learning
outcomes. Some studies in the past showed that background music could enhance performance on cognitive tasks, but more recent studies say this effect is not evident
unless students enjoy the music and it improves their emotional state.

Music can ease stress

Students often experience stress while studying, especially at exam time. Listening to
particular types of music can lower blood pressure, decrease the heart rate, and induce
calm. Meditation music, like the sounds of nature, can be very calming. Ambient music
is also soothing to the human mind. Studies show that listening to certain types of music
releases dopamine, which creates a feeling of happiness and relaxation.

Highly-strung personality types may get the most benefit from listening to calm, relaxing
music while studying. There was even a study that found some music had the same
effect on stress as having a massage.

Several studies in recent years have established a link between mood, emotion, and
memory. Music provides a way to process emotions and could prevent students from
succumbing to stress which would affect their academic performance. Music can help to
keep stress under control and put students in the mood to learn.

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Students getting an education at college and trying to learn for exams can feel
completely overwhelmed by stress and the pressure to perform. Not even music may
help them to relax and study when they know they have assignments to submit. They
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Different music has different effects

The “Mozart effect” is a well-known theory about the benefits of listening to Mozart.
Recent evidence does not really back up this theory. However, many students find
listening to Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach improves their learning outcomes. Of all the
types of music, classical music that’s purely instrumental appears to stimulate certain
types of brain waves that are conducive to learning.

In contrast to classical music, researchers in a study at Cambridge University found that
hip-hop music could uplift listeners and help them to deal better with mental health
issues. Students suffering from depression or anxiety could benefit from this type of
music as it could create a more positive state of mind when approaching their studies.


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Music improves concentration

Paying attention to the lyrics in a song can be a distraction to learning. When studying
for any language-related subject and also hearing lyrics, the brain has two language
processing tasks to do at the same time, which makes it less efficient.

Instrumental music can improve concentration because there are no distracting lyrics,
and soothing background sounds can improve mood and increase productivity. An
environment with numerous distractions is not conducive to studying, and listening to
background instrumental music can help to block out distractions. This is why the sight
of students studying in a distracting environment and wearing headphones is a common
one.

Conclusion

The impact on learning outcomes of listening to music while studying is often varied.
Some students find that music relieves their stress and helps them to focus. Others
prefer silence when they study. The type of music students choose to listen to will also
has different effects. Students need to find out what works best for them individually if
they want to benefit from listening to music while studying.

Author’s Bio

Robert Everett provides online writing help to students and has received a lot of positive
ratings for his contribution to students’ success. He specializes in essay and thesis

writing and also has a great love for blogging. His free time is for cycling, doing pencil
sketching and listening to jazz music.

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