The Benefits of Listening to Music While Studying

undefinedWhen it comes to exam prep, it’s incredibly important to keep yourself in good mental and physical health, as long hours of study will put increased strain on both your body and mind. When studying for exams you should also allow for times of relaxation – not only will this help you to de-stress, but it will also allow your body and brain to recharge, making it easier to focus and concentrate on your studies. 

How to aid relaxation and help concentration
One of the elements that can help you to relax and improve concentration levels is listening to music. There have been various studies conducted relating to the effects of music on the brain, and there have been some mixed results. However, one thing that has been proven is that certain types of music can be conducive to improving the brain’s cognitive functions and concentration levels, which is essential for studying.

This isn’t to say that you should turn the stereo up full blast with your favourite tunes, but needless to say there are definitive benefits to listening to music whilst you’re studying for your exams. 

The benefits of using music to study
To start with, music can have a calming effect on the brain during times of stress, although for most putting on a thrash metal track may have the opposite effect. Music can help to relax and clear your mind, allowing you to focus and concentrate more easily on your test prep, therefore increasing the levels of information retention. 

Of course, not all music is going to have the right effect. Scientists suggest that classical, instrumental and gentle non-vocal styles of music are the most effective study aids. Classical music specifically, is known to improve concentration levels, with concepts such as the Mozart Effect, which has been proven to improve spatial temporal reasoning and an improved cognitive state. 

Not only that, but listening to classical music can also improve logical skills as your brain begins to unwind with the music. A good example of this is surgeons who often listen to classical music in the OR to allow them to relax and focus better during long hours of surgery. 

More upbeat instrumental music with electric guitars can also be beneficial, as long as it isn’t so heavy that it becomes a distraction. You should also avoid music that has heavy bass tones, as this can create a repetitive ‘thudding’ sound that can be more of a distraction than a help.  

In conclusion, music can be very beneficial in helping you retain important information for your exams. But if you do decide to use music as a study aid, it’s important to choose the right types of music. Bear in mind that it shouldn’t be too loud either. Having music at a low level will mean that it serves as a background noise, rather than a focal point in your mind, allowing your brain to concentrate more on the task at hand and retain information more effectively. 
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