music can help you study

Does Music Help You Study?

July 29th, 2011

Did you know that the music you listen to could have a profound effect on how well you study? Turns out, according to some studies, music helps you study whether you’re aware of it or not. Whether you’re burying your nose in the books to become a Registered Dietitian, Psychiatrist, or even a Pharmacist, when it comes to studying, music can make a big impact on your success.

It has often been said that if you listen to classical music while you study, you will have increased concentration, improved memory retention and more successful studying, but now a study confirms it! While some people simply cannot focus if there is outside noise while studying, for those who can, listening to Mozart, or another artist, can help you outperform your non-music listening friends! Why drink coffee to stay awake and study, when you can listen to music as a natural way to increase energy and alertness?

Does listening to music help you study?

According to a study done by the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found a concrete physiological link between the acts of listening to music and learning. During the study, researchers played short symphonies by obscure 18th-century composers to subjects while scanning their brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. The findings showed that music ‘lights up’, or activates, areas of the brain involved with making predictions, paying attention and committing details to memory.

However, it was a particular part of the music that produced the results. Dr. Vinod Menon, the study’s senior author, pointed out that ‘In a concert setting, for example, different individuals listen to a piece of music with wandering attention, but at the transition point between movements, their attention is arrested.’ Meaning, your brain is most active just after, or between, intense musical movements.

Songs That Help You Study

Now you know that music can be beneficial in your academic efforts, but which is the music that helps you study the most? Many people, including some researchers and scientists have a theory that Mozart is the best study music. Music with no lyrics allows students to study and concentrate without being distracted by words.

Ready for a cram session? Here is an example of a study music playlist:

  1. Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin
  2. Violin Concerto #3 – Mozart
  3. Fur Elise – Mozart
  4. Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy – Tchaikovsky
  5. Symphony #40 – Mozart
  6. Ave Maria – Bach
  7. Rondeau – Mozart
  8. Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky
  9. Violin Concerto #5 – Mozart
  10. Reverie – Claude Debussy

What are your thoughts? If classical music helps you study, what are your favorite songs to listen to during a study session? Start the conversation in the comments section below!

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