Question: can listening to music help with studying

  1. Some things can help with recalling memories, like a smell or a song, but I’m not sure that studying with music on is going to be helpful. Perhaps just as a background noise it wouldn’t hurt but to study well you need to concentrate on the material you are learning. Then again, if it’s a noisy environment then wearing headphones with music on low would probably be useful.


  2. @gannaz: Hey! Music can help, but it’s not universal. Research in this area has shown that some people are able to better retain information when they’ve been listening to music and can actually recall the information they were learning by recalling the music they were listening to at the time of studying.

    Dogs have been shown to be more relaxed and quiet when listening to classical music (and more active and vocal when heavy metal was playing!). Pop music and recordings of human speech had no effect on their behaviour.

    I know when I was studying before big exams, I used various coloured highlighters a lot, and in the exam could often recall passages by remembering the colour I highlighted the relevant section of text with.

    I guess we all have association tricks that work for us. Music might be good for you, or, like the dogs, it might just relax you a bit more and put you in a better frame of mind for learning. I’d expect that music you’re either very familiar with or that has no lyrics would be best for studying to – words tends to distract us.

    I like Chopin’s Nocturnes for background work music.



  3. I can only answer in my experience.

    For me it depends on what I’m trying to study. If I’m dealing with numbers, I would always listen to loud rock music. For some reason it would block out the outside noise including the noises inside my brain that I didnt need.

    But I couldnt do that for anything else. Most other types of study, a little quiet music was ok, but mostly no music at all.

    In my lab, I’m concentrating so much that any music makes me make mistakes, which is a pity because I’d love to listen to music all day.

    What type of music do you listen to?



  1. Thx guys