Benefits Of Listening To Music While Doing Homework

Sep 25 2016

by Destiny Abercrumbie

5 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Music While Doing Homework

By Destiny Abercrumbie - Sep 25 2016
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If you are like me, then when you have to study for a test or do any type of homework, doing it in complete silence just feels weird. You need something to happen in the background, a little noise that can help you stay focused and not let your mind wander off. The perfect solution is to listen to music while doing homework because it helps block off the rest of the world's distractions. To some people, it may be a bad thing, but here's why it's a good thing.

1. Music helps you study.

There have been studies done by universities such as The University of Wales that show that listening to music while studying can improve memory, attention and your ability to do mental math, as well as lessen depression and anxiety. 

Researchers also did a test to see how background music affects students' test scores. The students who took a test with music did have a lower average score than those who didn’t have music, but the researchers noted that there was a lot of variation in the scores. This could tell us that the effect of music can vary a lot from person to person. Researchers believe that more research needs to be done on how the factors of tempo, genre or whether students are used to having music on make any difference.

2. Music helps you focus.

According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University, playing background music for creativity and reflection activities such as journaling, writing, problem-solving, goal-setting, project work or brainstorming is a great thing. There are also many uses for music including active learning. You can take a sound break or move around activities to increase productivity, energize students during daily energy lulls, provide a stimulating sound break to increase attention, make exercise more fun and encourage movement activities. To read more on this study, click here.

3. 'The Mozart Effect' is a real thing.

The Mozart Effect is book by Don Campbell that has the world's research on all the beneficial effects of certain type of music. This book includes research on how music makes us smarter. Scientists at Stanford University in California have recently revealed a molecular basis for the Mozart Effect, but not other music. Dr. Rauscher and her colleague H. Li, a geneticist, have discovered that rats, like humans, perform better on learning and memory tests after listening to a specific Mozart sonata.Some of the many benefits of the Mozart Effect include improvement in test scores, cut learning times, reduced errors, improved creativity and clarity, faster body healing, integration of both sides of the brain for more efficient learning and raised IQ scores by nine points, according to research done at University of California, Irvine.

4. Music makes us smarter.

In 1996, the College Entrance Exam Board Serviceconducted a study on all students taking their SAT exams. Students who either sang or played a musical instrument scored an average of 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and an average of 39 points higher on math. According to the research outlined in the book, musical pieces such as those of Mozart can relieve stress, improve communication and increase efficiency. Music starts up our brain and makes us feel more energetic and a link has been made between music and learning. 

According to Don Campbell, the author of the Mozart Effect, "In the workplace, music raises performance levels and productivity by reducing stress and tension, masking irritating sounds and contributing to a sense of privacy."

5. Music improves the brain and helps heal the body.

Music also stimulates different regions of the brain responsible for memory, motor control, timing and language. At McGill University in Montreal, neuroscientist Anne Blood, said, "You can activate different parts of the brain, depending on what music you listen to. So music can stimulate parts of the brain that are underactive in neurological diseases or a variety of emotional disorders. Over time, we could retrain the brain in these disorders." 

Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist, Mark Jude Tramo, says that "Undeniably, there is a biology of music.  There is no question that there is specialization within the human brain for the processing of music.  Music is biologically part of human life, just as music is aesthetically part of human life."

In conclusion, there are many benefits to listening to music and it is not a bad thing to do in order to stay focused.  So if you ever need a solution to stay focused or concentrate on the task at hand, slip on a pair of headphones and play some music.

Lead Image Credit: Steinar La Engeland via Unsplash


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Pros And Cons Of Listening To Music While Doing Homework


A lot of publications, both offline and online, show that listening to music while doing homework has several benefits. Some of these benefits include improved attention level, prolonged memorization and improved ability to mentally do math. One thing that most students have failed to concern themselves with is the type of music that they should listen to and if there are any pros and cons that are associated with listening to music while carrying out any academic tasks, especially assignments. Remember that another name for the effect of listening to music while studying is “Mozart effect” and there is a reason why it is named so.

During the early days when researchers started propagating the benefits of listening to music while doing homework, the type of music they listen to as at that time and the ones the students listen to now are not the same. This simply means that the effects students experience then may be different from what is obtainable in this age of hip hop and other lyrics-filled music. On this note, listed below are some of the pros and cons of this practice. They are as follows:

Pros:

  • Improved attention level
  • Ability to maintain prolonged memorization
  • Improved ability to mentally solve math
  • Minimizes depression during studies

Cons:

    Impaired performances Lack of concentration with the wrong music Diminishing cognitive abilities

These are just a few of the advantages and disadvantages of listening to music why doing homework. However, students should note that the effect varies from one person to the other and from task to task. For example, playing music without lyrics while trying to solve math can be soothing but that is not the case when it is the opposite. A student that is trying to memorize certain phrases has no business listening to music with lyrics while studying. This is especially if the student is not used to multitasking. He or she easily gets confused by the words being dished out by the artist and the ones he or she is trying to memorize.

This is why when it comes to the issue of the pros and cons of listening to music while studying, it becomes a matter of choice. If playing cool music during your studies helps to sooth your nerves, then you can go for it. If however, it does the opposite for you as a student, there is no need going with the trend. Stick to what works for you – quietness. Now that you know this, make a choice of how your homework is done – with or without music. It’s up to you.


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