At some point in your life, you’ve likely had a conversation about studying, and whether or not music helps you to concentrate. Some find it does, some find it doesn’t. Some people get too focussed on the lyrics to focus and others just get too distracted by their favorite songs. But the majority vote always is that yes, they do listen to music whilst studying, and there have even been some studies that suggest listening to music helps you to take in information quicker and easier. But does it really help, and what works best?
Music or silence
Like many others, you were likely given advice from teachers whilst in school on the best way to study. I know some teachers recommended music and would even play some for my classes when it came to revising, other teachers thought it was a waste of time and a distraction, and earphones were a cause for detention, even if it helped you personally. But much like the studies showing that chewing gum helps your memory, music is not something schools would be willing to implement in lessons. But you can listen to whatever you need to when studying at home, and music or silence aren’t the only options available, there is also the option of listening to ambiance instead, such as rain sounds or a fire crackling. Ambiance can be quite relaxing and is a more natural sound to have on whilst you do work, especially if you find that you get distracted easily.
The genre can have a big influence on your mood, and as such, it can also affect how well you can study. Some suggest that classical music actually makes you smarter and helps to improve focus whilst studying, and they even go as far as to suggest that pregnant women should play Mozart to their babies in the womb to help with development. But classical music is not the most modern or trending style and certainly isn’t a popular choice with students. Instead, some prefer acoustic, for its gentle tones, lack of lyrics, and more modern touch. There is also hip hop or pop, these genres are slightly more upbeat and may help you to stay in a positive mood whilst getting you’re work done.
Lyrics or not?
As mentioned, lyrics are a big topic up for debate when it comes to the style of music for studying. Choice of music will affect the type of lyrics, and this can also have an effect on your work. Love songs, with their romantic words and big ballads, could arguably be distracting, but if you’re trying to write a poem or understand the hidden meaning behind two characters, it could actually come in useful. But if you get carried away singing along to your favorites then it won’t be helping you much with your studies, which is another reason for testing out different genres and styles of music, such as acoustic versions of your favorite songs.
Ultimately, the choice comes down to your personal opinion, and what you prefer. If you want to be blaring Eminem through your speakers whilst writing your dissertation because it helps, then you should, as long as you’re not disturbing anyone else. The best way to find what works for you is by experimenting. Experiment with all different types and put together a playlist of whatever works best for you, so when it comes to sitting down and doing work, you won’t be stuck trying to decide on what to play.