Music’s magic

Everyone has a different way of studying. Some find it easier to concentrate in a dedicated study space, such as a library or desk. Others prefer to do it in the comfort of their room—perhaps while lounging on the bed or a comfy chair. Whatever the case, most people I have met all have one thing in common when they study: they listen to music.

Personally, I like to listen to music at a low volume while I am working so I have some pleasant background noise. Some people think this is bad, that listening to music while studying will be distracting or negatively impact grades. To each their own, but research has shown that there are far more instances of positive correlations between music and studying than negative ones.

Studies on the effects of music on the human brain have been occurring for a great many years. While there will most likely always be some mixed opinions on the subject, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the claim that music can improve one’s cognitive abilities.

Claudia Hammond of BBC writes that for a long time, music was believed to be beneficial strictly for young children—specifically, the music of Mozart was thought to help (this was called the “Mozart Effect”).

However, various studies have come to show that other kinds of music work just as well as Mozart’s, and not just with children. As stated
by researchers at Florida National University, music has been shown to activate both the left and right brain at once, which maximizes learning and improves memory.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, students should listen to music. “Music is an effective stress reducer, in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. Research finds that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in heart patients.”

So, while we have learned there is no need to just stick to classical music when studying, it does still have other helpful effects. In accordance with Florida National University, for instance, listening to classical music has been known to help many college students struggling with insomnia.

The positive effects of music go beyond the benefits we receive when we just listen to it, however. In fact, the researchers of the website “Frontiers in Psychology” state that actually playing an instrument or being a musician can have a very positive effect on your brain. Musicians, generally, have shown higher intelligence than non-musicians when it comes to verbal intelligence, general intelligence, and working memory.

Overall, it can be seen that there are many positive aspects to music in relation to the brain that most of us have probably never realized. So
perhaps the next time you are sitting down in front of your textbooks, you will consider exploring the wide world of music and finding something that could aid you in your studies.

by Breanna Adamick