Should You Study in Silence or Add Music?


Sidney Marenkovic, Senior Staff Writer

Does listening to music actually make a difference in the efficiency of one’s study habits?

More recently, high school and college students have been using earbuds and airpods to listen to music while studying and completing school work. After years of research, a conclusion has been made: it depends! 

Every human brain functions in a unique way, and the topic of listening to music while studying is a great example of this. For some people, listening to music while studying can reduce stress and anxiety, creating a comfortable study environment.  Background music while studying can increase focus, improve mood, and keep one’s mind responsive and alert. You never want to be caught falling asleep while trying to work, and listening to music often prevents that. It is also important to consider what type of music helps you to focus or stay alert. A study from Northcentral University says to “Go Classical.” Listening to classical music often increases productivity. The productivity created from classical music, often referred to as “The Mozart Effect,”  shows that classical music increases brain activity. Senior Mallory Greenamyer states, “I listen to music while I’m doing homework and while I’m studying. I think it helps me focus and keeps me away from other distractions.”  

Although listening to music can help some people focus to complete their homework, it can also be a hindrance to others. “I don’t listen to music while studying because it doesn’t help me to focus on the material, but while I do homework I sing and somehow that helps me.” says junior, Abbey Johns. Listening to music that has lyrics can take away from one’s study flow and become less efficient, overall, obtaining less information. “Your brain can struggle to process musical lyrics and do school work simultaneously,” states the University of Phoenix. One additional drawback of study music is its effect on long-term habits. While studying and listening to music, one becomes used to studying with background noise. This can be a problem when it comes time to take a test and the room is so quiet you can hear a pin drop.

As said before, listening to music while studying is up to the student’s preferences. There is also a big difference to listening to music while studying or just doing one’s classwork. It can leave a negative impact on your memory to listen to music but go without it while completing a test. One must find what works best for them and how they can focus the most.