What Are the Best Music Genres to Study?

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Study Consultant at Gradehacker

Updated March, 2023

If you like learning with YouTube, we have this blog as a video for you!

Music or no music while studying? That is the question!

This is a controversy that many students find themselves in once they start to prepare for assignments that requires memorization, so we are here to clear things up!

At Gradehacker, we have years of experience helping students with their college assignments and improving their academic performance, making us the non-traditional adult student #1 resource. 

Some people say that music only has some sort of placebo effect and doesn’t influence your study performance, while others say that the effects of music help you with all cognitive tasks.

In this article, we introduce you to the power of music when studying! Does it really work? Let’s find out!

Best Music Genres to Study- first photo-girl with computer and headphones

Studying With Music: Does it Improve Your Memory Capacities?

We have previously pointed out the best hacks you to improve your memory, but what is our opinion about if music really improves your memory? 

Well, let us share what we found!

We have researched this question extensively and concluded that it could benefit you! This is what multiple reports have to say:

However, you must choose from different kinds of music, a tune that keeps you on track and awake.

Some of our clients say that while classical music is advertised as the holy grail of study music, others say that the only effect they get from this genre is to fall asleep. 

We had people saying heavy metal is great for waking up in the morning but not precisely for remembering concepts.

We dare to say that the best music genres to study depends on your personal tastes. Still, if you want to try and see if music actually improves your attention span, we made a list of genres that will help you achieve that!

Classical Music

Is It Good for Concentration?

Instrumental music is probably the most trusted suggestion for music listeners when choosing what to put in the background while studying. 

The Mozart Effect trend seems like it’s stuck in many people’s lives, and now it seems that gentle music is a go-to solution for everything.

Studies from the National Library of Medicine have demonstrated that classical music has a positive impact on increasing dopamine by an 83%. 

Why is dopamine important? 

Well, because it is that little neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and good. When the body releases it, you will feel satisfied with yourself and confident you are doing a good job.

However, here is the thing. 

Some people fall asleep when they listen to classical music, and not necessarily because they find it boring (well, maybe there’s some of that, but we are not here to judge.)

We actually found the reason for those claims, and it’s because one of the effects of background music is that the dopamine rush can be taken as a sign of taking a break, making you relax.

If you are not nervous, your mind and body feel like it’s time to take a break, and you will feel sleepy.

We recommend giving classical music a chance, trying to find a connection between music like this in different moments, and seeing the effects!

In case you want to try, here are some Spotify Playlists:

Studying With Music: Best Music Genres to Study-second picture-curly hair girls listening music while studying

Heavy Metal:

Can You Study With Loud Music?

Moving on from instrumentals, we are now bringing music with lyrics, and our music choice is heavy metal!  

Not convinced? Yeah, we figured since this genre has some bad reputation and not necessarily because of its lyrics.

Many people think that because of the loud noise will be a distraction. Still, science has a different opinion!

According to the lifestyle website Village Pipol, heavy metal music combats depression and boosts cognitive function, productivity, and focus.

Simultaneously, if, as a listener, you are feeling frustrated or angry for any reason, listening to heavy metal will help you release your negativity and make you end up in a positive mood.

In this case, it is possible to say that heavy metal works great for concentration when you are working on demanding tasks.

But we must clarify that it will work as long as it’s your favorite music. 

If it is not your thing, we wouldn’t recommend trying it when you want to keep concepts in your head.

However, when you have a moment during your study time, try and listen to some songs. They are pretty good!

If you want to give it a try, here are some Spotify playlists to check:

LoFi Hip-Hop

The Genre That Will Keep The Noise Away

We bet you have seen these videos on your YouTube suggested videos. They are easy to recognize. The Lofi Hip-Hop beats to study are the trend now, and there’s an explanation for that.

Based on the report made by Best Colleges, LoFi music improves studying through increased motivation levels, brain activity, reduced anxiety levels, and enhanced focus.

Lofi Hip-Hop is a type of music genre that makes you forget about annoying background noises.

Its positive effect is not about the music but more about making you forget about the world for a second and not having the chance to get distracted by it.

Like any instrumental music, it has the negative effect of relaxing you to the point you feel like going to sleep or keep reading. This is why we think it is better to try it when you are not in a time crunch.

If it is not for you, you might be in front of a new resource to fall asleep sooner! But if you want to give it a try when you are studying, here are some Spotify playlists:

studying with music-lofi-third picture

Electronic Music

Is it as Good as They Say?

In movies, when someone tries to “hack” a computer, you will probably hear some electronic music in the background, making the moment more fast-paced and exciting. This choice of soundtrack is not an accident.

Electronic music is often associated with machines and software, and at the same time, they are commonly associated with positive emotions, efficiency, and speed.

Based on the report made by Rave You Magazine, this genre will help you focus and boosts your overall cognitive performance. 

And according to the specialized music website Birdynamnan, studies have shown an apparent similarity between electronic rhythms and brain waves.

So, when you put on your headphones your favorite songs, you are pushing your brain to work, as Daft Punk would say, harder, better, faster, and stronger.

It’s important to note that electronic music might not be your best option when you have difficulty recalling new information since you need to be calm and relaxed. 

However, this genre is perfect for keeping you motivated when you are in a rush or need a boost.

Here are some Spotify Playlists that can help you in those moments:

Pop Music

Can You Study With it?

Pop songs often contain tunes with lyrics that are simple and relatable choruses that are easy to sing along with. This makes it well-suited for studying.

Based on the report made by Total Entertainment, listening to pop music as you study will help relax the brain and focus on the creative side of things. This is because the catchy melodies help distract the mind from any potential stress or anxiety related to studying.

It can also provide a sense of pleasure and motivation that can help keep you focused on your studies for longer periods. 

So if you want to start implementing pop music in your study sessions, here are some Spotify playlists: 

Studying with music- fourth pic-men with hat studying and listening music

Music Genres to Improve Your Study Time

So, the question remains: should you listen to music while studying? 

The answer depends on two factors: first, the type of music you like, and second, what type of study you are doing.

Heavy metal and electronic music might be the best option if you want to stay awake and alert, but when you want to take things slower, classical music and Lofi are excellent alternatives.

After reading the reports, we can agree that the influence of background music can be powerful, so we hope your study session goes smoothly and you get the best grade possible!

Still looking for new ways to improve your study productivity? At Gradehacker, we can help you with your college classes and academic assistance if you need a hand to finish your program degree faster.

You can also check these related articles to find out how to retain content more efficiently:

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega is a Study Consultant and Content Creator for Gradehacker. She has a degree in Education and Literature and is currently working on getting a master’s degree in Linguistics. Even though words, languages, and books are her thing, science and psychology were her hidden passion for many years. Luckily, Gradehacker has allowed her to use all that knowledge by helping many clients with everything they need. Javiera considers herself a proud nerd who likes to learn and read about everything she can find. From movies and comics to microbiology and genetics, every topic is interesting for her. Her curiosity has no limits. Find her on LinkedIn