Music or no music while studying, that is the question. This is a question many students have once start to prepare for exams or any other assignment that requires memorization. Some say that music only has some sort of placebo effect and doesn’t influence your study performance, while others say that music does not help you at all and can distract you even more.
Previously on Gradehacker, we have pointed out the best hacks you can use to improve your memory, but what is our opinion about if music really improves your memory?
We have researched this question a lot, and we think that it can be beneficial for you. Actually, according to Northcentral University, music improves mood, blood pressure, heart rate, and helps you focus.
However, you have to choose tunes that keep you 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. Others say that heavy metal is great to wake up in the morning but not precisely to remember evidence-based practice concepts.
We dare to say that much of knowing What the Best Music Genres to Study depend on your personal tastes. Still, if you want to try your hand at it and see if music indeed improves your attention span, we created this article, so you know what alternatives you have.
Is Classical Music Good for Concentration?
The old reliable suggestion when someone asks you for some background sounds to study. The Mozart Effect trend seems like it stuck way too many people’s lives, and now it seems it is a go-to solution for everything.
Why is dopamine important? Well, because it is that little neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and good. If 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. No, it is not because they find it boring! Well, yes, maybe there’s some of that, but we are not here to judge. It is actually because your body can interpret this dopamine rush as a sign of taking a break, and you can start to feel more relaxed. If you are not nervous, your mind and body feel like it’s time to take a break, and you will feel sleepy.
Our advice is to try if classical music is for you and then stick to it if it wakes you up or makes you want to take a power nap.
Don't Listen To The Rumors: Heavy Metal Will Not Distract You At All
We are going to the other side of the scale by suggesting to add some heavy metal to your playlist. Not convinced? Yeah, we figured since this genre has some bad reputation and not necessarily because of its lyrics. Many think that the “noise” will be a distraction and dismiss more violent rhythms as useful. Still, science has a different opinion.
According to Neuroscience News, while non-metal fans might feel anxious when listening to this type of music, those who are into it feel some sense of release and stand by as it washes away any nervousness and dread they might feel about the content in front of them. Simultaneously, if the listener is feeling frustrated or angry for any reason, listening to heavy metal will help them release those negative feelings and replace them for more positive ones.
In this case, it is possible to say that heavy metal works for concentration as long as it’s your favorite. If it is not your thing, we wouldn’t recommend giving it a try when you are trying to keep concepts in your head. However, when you have some spare time, try and listen to some songs. They are pretty good!
LoFi Hip-Hop Will Help You To Keep The Noise Away
I bet you have seen these videos on your YouTube suggested videos. It is easy to recognize. Animesque illustration in the thumbnail? Check. Hours and hours of duration or a permanent “live now” sign? Check. Lots of people in the live chat commenting on what they are studying at the moment? Check. Soft music with some hip-hop flavor here and there? Check. Yes, the Lofi Hip-Hop beats to study are the trend now, and there’s an explanation for that.
Kevin Woods from Brain.fm says that this new genre appeals to people who feel that catchy lyrics are distracting. Well-known songs are a double-edged sword. You are familiar with them, so they make you feel comfortable, but, at the same time, they might want you to sing-along when some sick verses come on. That’s great when you want to feel energized but not so much when you are in the middle of a memorization session.
Lofi Hip-Hop is considered a music genre that controls “salient events.” This means that this type of song makes you forget about annoying background noises such as dogs barking or kids screaming. It is not about the music per se but more about making you forget about the world for a second and not having the chance of getting distracted by it.
Like classical music, LoFi Hip-Hop can relax you maybe way too much, and you will feel like taking a nap instead of keep reading. This is why we think it is better to try it when you are not in the middle of a time-crunch. If it is not for you, you might be in front of a new resource to fall asleep sooner!
Is Electronic Music Good To Stay Focused?
In movies, when someone is trying to “hack” a computer, you will probably hear some electronic music in the background. It makes the pace faster, more exciting, and definitely adds some tension to the otherwise boring (but necessary) key-typing. This choice of soundtrack is not an accident. Electronic music is often associated with machines, software, and at the same time, they are commonly associated with efficiency and speed.
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 and blast some electronic vibes, you are giving your brain a push into working better, harder, faster, and stronger.
It’s important to note that electronic music might not be your best option when you need to understand new information since you need to be calmed and relaxed. However, when you are in a rush to enumerate concepts or write down lists, this genre is perfect for keeping you motivated.
So, The Question Remains: Should You Listen To Music While Studying?
The answer depends on two factors: one, what type of music you like and two, what type of study you are doing. If you want to stay awake and alert, heavy metal and electronic music might be the best option for you, but it is not advisable if it’s not your thing already since it might make you feel anxious. When you want to take things slower, classical music and Lofi Hip-Hop are an excellent alternative. Just keep in mind that relaxation is not a good option when you want to pull an all-nighter.
When it comes to studying, whatever helps you get and learn new techniques you can implement, the better. Simply memorizing is no longer an option in college where you have to learn a high volume of new information in a short period of time. Instead of repeating the same words you read in a text, you will have to try to understand the subject in front of you. Try new music to focus on or try one of these pieces of advice we give you in these articles we have written before. We hope your study session goes smoothly and that you get the best grade possible!
Still looking for new ways to improve your study productivity? Check these related articles to find out how to retain content more efficiently: