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Is it Good to Listen to Music while Studying?|Kumon Malaysia

Listening to music while studying is an individual preference and it can have both positive and negative effects on learning. Many would consider music to be a useful tool for learning and working, whilst others find it impossible to concentrate with background noise. Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of studying with music as well as some tips on how to get the most out of your study playlist.

The pros

  • It can improve your mood and mindset

According to a study done in 2019, it is said that music can activate the pleasure centres of your brain. Music impacts brain function and human behaviour, like reducing stress and working towards a positive mindset. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or agitated, listening to music can help you relax and boost your productivity. A research done by the University of Maryland Medical Center reveals that music is an efficient stress reliever in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. It goes on to say that listening to soothing and relaxing music helps lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels in cardiac patients.

  • It can help you absorb new information

In 2007, a study from Stanford University School of Medicine showed that music, specifically classical music, can help your brain to absorb and process new information easily. Your brain processes large amount of information it receives and breaks it into smaller chunks. Researchers discovered evidence that music can train your brain to pay greater attention to events and form predictions of what might happen next. When it comes to studying, if you’re having a tough time making sense of new information, listening to music might help with this process.

The cons

There are also cons to listening to music while studying. Music can have a negative impact on your working memory. A working memory refers to the information you use for problem solving, learning and other cognitive tasks. For instance, you use working memory when trying to remember a mathematics formula. Research shows that listening to music will reduce working memory capacity. Listening to music could make manipulating several bits of information much more difficult if you already have trouble doing so. Different types of music like fast music, loud music or music with lyrics, might make it difficult to interpret and assimilate reading information.

Nonetheless, if you are someone who enjoys listening to music while studying, a preferable choice of music would be slow, instrumental music. Other options could be soft electronic, space or ambient music. Try to avoid music that is unconventional or that lacks a consistent beat. Such music can cause your mind to wander and prevent you from concentrating. Last but not least, keep the volume low. Study music should be kept at a low volume as it may interfere with your ability to think. To summarise, carefully selecting the right music can help you get the most out of it, but if you still have trouble focusing, white noise or other audio options may be a better option. At the end of the day, it depends on each individual and their preference.