The Complicated Relationship between Music and Studies

The Complicated Relationship between Music and Studies
Smiling black girl with wireless headset studying online, using laptop at cafe, taking notes, copy space

You’ve probably heard that music could improve your focus. Research has proved that music has various beneficial impacts on physical and mental health. But it can also cause distractions. So, what’s the verdict for combining studies and music? Let’s discuss.

Music engages both the left and right brains simultaneously and can boost memory formation by activating both hemispheres. This results in several advantages, including improvement in:

  • Attitude
  • Motivation
  • Memory recall and brain stimulation
  • Fatigue management

However, if you match the wrong music to the activity, it counteracts the above, resulting in loss of focus and slower cognitive abilities.

Let’s hear it from the experts.

Medical Professionals on Effects of Music

As per the University of Maryland Medical Center, students should “listen to music.” They further explained how it assists in reducing anxiety levels for both the healthy and the sick.

This statement demonstrates the potent influence of music on the human body. So, it’s no surprise why people frequently resort to music to cope with distress. It is undeniable that some genres of music help improve focus, cognition, and attentiveness.

So, music may seem to be the natural choice to enhance your focus when studying. However, not everyone tends to agree. Because music does not affect us all in the same manner, the conclusion to this issue is more complicated than a modest “yes” or “no.”

How can music Help in Reality?

Wouldn’t it make your academic life easier if you could turn on a mixtape or listen to a tune that could assist you to finish that pesky introduction of your homework assignment or remember all those topics for your economics final?

Sadly, music does not have that kind of influence. Instead, it offers other significant advantages you can make use of, such as:

1.    Boosting your Motivation

If you’re having a long, stressful night of schoolwork, your desire to keep working might be quickly fading away. But check this, playing your favorite tunes throughout study breaks can help you concentrate better! You can decide to give yourself a “prize” for finishing the study session. According to new research, music can trigger the same incentive areas in your nervous system as other activities you appreciate. So, appreciating yourself with your favourite tunes could help you stay eager to study new things.

2.    Uplifting your Mood

Music does more than merely encourage you. It can also aid with stress reduction and promote a more optimistic outlook.

According to research, being in a pleasant frame of mind often enhances your learning outcomes. When you’re in a good mood, you’re more likely to succeed in studying and learning new stuff.

So, if you feel stressed or overwhelmed while studying, listening to music might calm you down and help you work more successfully.

3.    Helping Memory Retention

Isn’t it true that the more you train your limbs, the better they become? Similarly, giving your mind a cerebral activity can help enhance it.

According to a study, exposure to classical music seems to assist the elderly in functioning better on cognitive and processing skills. The observations in this research imply that certain genres of music can aid in memory and other cognitive processes. Music stimulates your mind in the same way that exercise stimulates your body.

4.    Improving Your Focus

Your brain analyses the vast amount of knowledge it gets from the environment around you while breaking it down into smaller chunks.

Experts say that music could stimulate your brain to educate it to pay more attention to these activities and predict what could follow.

How does this assist you in your studies? It can help you train your mind to connect the reasoning dots and understand the context better. With this, you may observe a shift in your capacity to comprehend your reasoning when answering academic questions.

According to a recent study, if you play your preferred choice of music, it can: “enhance task-focused attentional states.”

The Negative Side of Music

We know that everything has two sides, and music is no different. Sadly, while music can be beneficial, other people simply find it a diversion because an important part of music’s influence lies in its ability to divert attention. Here are more pointers on the disadvantages:

1.    Leads to Distraction

When you’re feeling down or anxious, listening to your favorite music could help improve your emotions by distracting you from your present and providing you with an immersive experience. However, interruption is usually not what you’re searching for when you need to study.

2.    Not Suitable for Problem-Solving

When attempting to explain your point in an assignment or calculate a tough calculus problem, anything that’s too noisy or too rapid can disrupt your concentration and impede your progress.

3.    Negative Impact on Cognitive Functions

Research demonstrates that playing music with lyrics can diminish cognitive functioning because it makes it difficult to grasp and assimilate reading content.

And if you already have difficulty processing several bits of information, playing music can make the task considerably more difficult.

So, what music to choose for study sessions?

5 Music Genres Perfect for Studies

Certain types of music have been demonstrated to improve focus and ambition. Of course, the optimal soundtrack for studying is still a matter of personal taste, but the five styles listed below are ideal genres to start.


This vast genre encompasses it all, from quiet, ambient music to pulse-pounding electronic dance music (EDM). Of course, this is a fairly broad spectrum of music, but it works. Electronic music has gained a reputation among students in recent years, and the best thing is that much of it is beneficial for academic performance.

You can find numerous curated playlists on YouTube and Spotify for ambient/chill study soundtracks.


Jazz has been around for generations and is still going strong as we speak. However, it is an incredibly misunderstood musical genre. Many people associate jazz with being noisy and full of performers continuously attempting to outshine one another.

While jazz’s highlights on improvisation gave rise to loud, complex music, it has also led to several quiet pieces. Even the masters like Norman Brown and Lonnie Liston Smith have put out several slower tempo tracks that are ideal for study.


A solid throwback playlist can be the one for the ages. Well, you may probably think “old-school” music may not be your cup of tea, but many studies have shown listening to classical music has a surprising number of advantages.

It has the potential to alleviate stress and possibly enhance sleeping habits. Many pupils will certainly resort to Mozart owing to the so-called “Mozart Effect” when choosing which prominent classical musician to listen.

Instrumental Rock

Music with few or no lyrics is ideal for learning because it is less distracting. This is why instrumental or “post-rock” music is an excellent study accompaniment. Bands like God Is an Astronaut and Scale the Summit demonstrate that appealing riffs can take you far without the need for a voice. These bands create soundscapes based on non-traditional tunes and are a great option for focused studying.

Nature Sounds

Effective learning needs a stress-free atmosphere. And what’s better than enjoying soothing natural sounds as you study? The natural world offers no scarcity of acoustics to get lost in; from steady rainfall to the relaxing sounds of the rainforest, you can find it all.

Phew, we’re almost done.

While music is great to assist studies, imagine this scenario: you’re almost at the end of your semester, and all those final assignment submissions and quizzes are lining up. The course material stresses you out, and you can’t think of any way to reduce this dreadful feeling.

Music may not solve your problems here, but British assignment writers can. You can hand over your academic assignments to professional UK essay writers and take your well-deserved break from stress.


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