Sep 25 2016by Destiny Abercrumbie
5 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Music While Doing HomeworkBy Destiny Abercrumbie - Sep 25 2016
If you are like me, then when you have to study for a test or do any type of homework, doing it in complete silence just feels weird. You need something to happen in the background, a little noise that can help you stay focused and not let your mind wander off. The perfect solution is to listen to music while doing homework because it helps block off the rest of the world's distractions. To some people, it may be a bad thing, but here's why it's a good thing.
1. Music helps you study.
There have been studies done by universities such as The University of Wales that show that listening to music while studying can improve memory, attention and your ability to do mental math, as well as lessen depression and anxiety.
Researchers also did a test to see how background music affects students' test scores. The students who took a test with music did have a lower average score than those who didn’t have music, but the researchers noted that there was a lot of variation in the scores. This could tell us that the effect of music can vary a lot from person to person. Researchers believe that more research needs to be done on how the factors of tempo, genre or whether students are used to having music on make any difference.
2. Music helps you focus.
According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University, playing background music for creativity and reflection activities such as journaling, writing, problem-solving, goal-setting, project work or brainstorming is a great thing. There are also many uses for music including active learning. You can take a sound break or move around activities to increase productivity, energize students during daily energy lulls, provide a stimulating sound break to increase attention, make exercise more fun and encourage movement activities. To read more on this study, click here.
3. 'The Mozart Effect' is a real thing.
The Mozart Effect is book by Don Campbell that has the world's research on all the beneficial effects of certain type of music. This book includes research on how music makes us smarter. Scientists at Stanford University in California have recently revealed a molecular basis for the Mozart Effect, but not other music. Dr. Rauscher and her colleague H. Li, a geneticist, have discovered that rats, like humans, perform better on learning and memory tests after listening to a specific Mozart sonata.Some of the many benefits of the Mozart Effect include improvement in test scores, cut learning times, reduced errors, improved creativity and clarity, faster body healing, integration of both sides of the brain for more efficient learning and raised IQ scores by nine points, according to research done at University of California, Irvine.
4. Music makes us smarter.
In 1996, the College Entrance Exam Board Serviceconducted a study on all students taking their SAT exams. Students who either sang or played a musical instrument scored an average of 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and an average of 39 points higher on math. According to the research outlined in the book, musical pieces such as those of Mozart can relieve stress, improve communication and increase efficiency. Music starts up our brain and makes us feel more energetic and a link has been made between music and learning.
According to Don Campbell, the author of the Mozart Effect, "In the workplace, music raises performance levels and productivity by reducing stress and tension, masking irritating sounds and contributing to a sense of privacy."
5. Music improves the brain and helps heal the body.
Music also stimulates different regions of the brain responsible for memory, motor control, timing and language. At McGill University in Montreal, neuroscientist Anne Blood, said, "You can activate different parts of the brain, depending on what music you listen to. So music can stimulate parts of the brain that are underactive in neurological diseases or a variety of emotional disorders. Over time, we could retrain the brain in these disorders."
Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist, Mark Jude Tramo, says that "Undeniably, there is a biology of music. There is no question that there is specialization within the human brain for the processing of music. Music is biologically part of human life, just as music is aesthetically part of human life."
In conclusion, there are many benefits to listening to music and it is not a bad thing to do in order to stay focused. So if you ever need a solution to stay focused or concentrate on the task at hand, slip on a pair of headphones and play some music.
Lead Image Credit: Steinar La Engeland via Unsplash
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Listening to Music While Studying: Good Motivator or Just a Distraction?
Most students listen to music while studying. With either iPod in ears, iTunes through the computer or even “old fashioned” DVD player going, students across Australia tonight are listening to anything from Beyonce to Good Charlotte to LMFAO (don’t ask) while they do their homework. And inevitably parents in these houses walk past, wondering: “can they really concentrate with that going on in their ears?”
The truth is that there are significant advantages of listening to music while studying
First, most students say listening to music helps them study for longer. This makes sense: homework can be boring. If something can make it slightly less boring, students are slightly more likely to keep doing it for longer. Advantage number two: listening to music has been found to be LESS distracting than listening to random office/household noise. So if the noise of the house is high, then having music to block that out can help students concentrate. Finally: research shows music usually puts students in a better mood. This is helpful because the better mood we are in, the longer we persist on hard tasks and the better we do at difficult tasks: good news for students.
So with all of that, what’s the problem with listening to music while studying?
Research shows that compared to being in complete silence, people are less able to do difficult tasks while listening to music. Almost every study in this area shows that if you give people a problem solving task and then compare people who do it in silence compared to people doing in while listening to music, those working in silence do the task better and quicker than those listening to music. It seems that music interferes with our attention and cognitive skills. This is especially true for music with lyrics, music that is unpredictable and interestingly, it is also especially distracting for introverts compared to extroverts.
So there are upsides, and downsides. Here are the recommendations I give students about this issue:
Listen to music when you feel like you really “have to” – when you are bored, in a bad mood or are tempted to prematurely stop (or can’t start) homework.
Listen to music if your house/study environment is quite noisy and you can’t shut out this (usually unpredictable) noise any other way.
BUT recognise that you will not be doing your absolutely best work when listening to music. Therefore try to do three things:
- Turn the music off when you are doing something quite hard (e.g revising for a test or trying to understand difficult concepts)
- Listen to music without lyrics if you can (e.g classical, electronica), music that has a predictable beat/tune or music that is very familiar to you
- Turn the music down a couple of notches compared to the volume you listen to it normally
I hope this helps. Like most issues, it's not black and white - but these recommendations can help parents and teens find some constructive middle ground.
If your teen would like some one on one study skills coaching, or help with dealing with a stressful issues then you can find out about appointments via clicking here to go to the counselling info page. Please note, that if your teen does not want to attend sessions but as a parent you would like some ideas in responding to and supporting your teen, we see parents on their own frequently for sessions also.