We’ve all been there. You know, that situation where you should be studying but find yourself procrastinating for hours on end. Thankfully, listening to music while studying can help you get rid of distractions and focus on your studies.
Before we discuss the benefits of study music, here’s some bad news: listening to music won’t make you smarter. You may have heard of the “Mozart effect”, the theory that listening to Mozart makes a person smarter. A few years ago, Austrian researchers performed a meta-analysis of around 40 studies on the Mozart effect
, and found that listening to the composer had no effect on a person’s IQ.
Okay, it won’t make you smarter, but does music help you study? The answer is yes, as long as the music doesn’t contain lyrics. In a recent study, researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan
University in the UK found that students who listened to music without lyrics performed 25% better on a reading comprehension test than students who listed to music with lyrics. Interestingly, music with lyrics caused the same amount of damage whether it was music the students liked or not.
Think about your own experiences with listening to music while studying. Whether you’re studying from home, the library, or a loud dorm room, you’ve probably found that putting on noise-cancelling headphones and turning on music without lyrics has helped you concentrate.
Whether you’re prepping for college or high school exams, a professional certification test, or an entrance exam like the GMAT or SAT, music can improve your concentration. Read on for our tips on the best music for studying.
Mozart mightn’t make you smarter, but he and his classical music buddies can certainly help you focus. It’s long been believed that listening to classical music increases a person’s dopamine levels, lifting their mood and reducing anxiety.
In a recent study in France, researchers split students into two groups: one group was asked to listen to a one-hour lecture with classical music in the background and the other listened to the lecture with no music. Both groups were then given a test, and the students who had listened to classical music performed significantly better. The researchers speculated that the music put students in a heightened emotional state
, making them more receptive to information.
Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven are the most popular classical composers for a reason, and their symphonies are great music to study by. For a short study session, we recommend Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, an uplifting symphony that goes for 42 minutes. For longer sessions, check out Halidon Music’s “Best of” series, including the three-hour long Best of Mozart.
is a broad term for any type of musical composition or recording without lyrics. It encompasses classical music, piano music, and many other types of music that are good for studying. The benefit to instrumental music is that it plays in the background, doing just enough to keep you focused and alert but without introducing anything (such as lyrics) to distract you.
Instrumental music can be upbeat, relaxing or anything between. For example, there’s classical instrumental music, electronic instrumental music, and jazz instrumental music. Movie soundtracks also fall under this category. We all have our preferences when it comes to music, so pick instrumental that best suits your tastes.
White noise is one of the best ways to get a baby to stop crying, but it can be just as useful for studying as it is for parenting. By definition, white noise
is a signal containing all audible frequencies of vibration that cancels out background sounds.
Search “white noise for studying” on YouTube to find all types of white noise compilations, including rain and wind noises, celestial noises, and fan sounds.
Like white noise, this is a broad category that isn’t really music in the technical sense but is incredibly effective for concentration. Frequency measures
the speed of a vibration, which determines the pitch of a sound. It is measured as the number of wave cycles occurring in one second, with 1 Hz referring to one cycle per second, 10 Hz referring to ten cycles per second, and so on.