Pondering whether listening to music while studying actually has any benefits?
Maybe you’re the kind of person that listens to death metal when you’re writing an essay. Or, you’re more of an orchestral listener, who needs some violin and piano to get you through about 5 pages of maths equations.
Well, you’re about to find out if you should have music playing in the background while studying, and whether or not it’s actually effective — so keep reading!
Pros of Listening to Music While Studying
Essentially, there are two main reasons as to why music helps you study and get into the zone.
#1: It helps block out background noise
Whether you’ve taken over the dining room to study, or you’re studying in an internet cafe, you’ll often find that putting on some music helps drown out background sounds and conversations — which stops your mind from wandering off.
#2: Helps you get into the groove of Maths!
Having a fast-paced soundtrack is great for getting into the flow of answering a tonne of Maths equations. Similar to music you might listen to when going for a run or working out, up-beat music really helps you get into a rhythm.
So you might think, “Great, I’ll just listen to a playlist of up-beat music and I’ll be focused for days!”
Cons of Studying With Music in the Background
However that’s unfortunately not the case, because music can also have the adverse effect on your studying for two main reasons.
#1: Music isn’t good for studying Humanities subjects
Basically, listening to music increases your cognitive load. So when studying subjects that require a lot of reading and writing (like English and History), music makes it harder to process these words.
If you find yourself having to read a paragraph over and over just to comprehend it, while listening to music, you should probably press pause temporarily.
#2: It can be distracting!
Your study playlist should probably be different to the playlist which has all your favourite artists and the latest songs. As soon as you start singing along and changing tracks, your focus is lost and it’ll take you up to 23 minutes to get that concentration back!
So, the next time you go to study something like Maths, get out that fast-paced playlist — not the one you listen to on the bus, but the one that you’ve made specifically for studying.
If you’re studying a Humanities subject, reconsider your playlist, maybe try more instrumental songs, and avoid changing tracks every 2 songs!
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Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.