Music: Should You Listen While Studying?


by SOPHIA GARCIA '21


Music has a great impact on society, and every day, millions of students listen to vocal or instrumental sounds. But does music actually help you focus when studying or doing homework?

Many researchers like Carolina Kuepper-Teztel say that “it depends if the task seems to play a crucial role and studying complex material requires you to engage all your focus.”

Ms. Williams, Saint Ursula's health teacher can back up the information. "If it is something like music, what genre of music would be calming or soothing to you, especially like with writing? Sometimes that simulates the brain to kind of be creative in some ways.”

SUA students also have opinions about listening to different kinds of sounds and beats. Courtney Ruesink, ‘22 says that “music helps me focus and calm me down when I am stressed.”

Not only does music relax the student more, but it helps make the process easier to focus on. With the power of music, Katie Angeline, ‘21, says that “calming music like nature or instrumental help calm myself and stay focused when I’m doing homework.”

Take it from sophomore Josie Ruther, who has a hypersensitive hearing disorder. “I do study with either music or white/pink noise and it helps me focus better because I have something called a sensory processing disorder which makes me have hypersensitive hearing making it hard to focus on the important things and not get affected by other sounds.”

When it comes to listening to music, it can have its pros but also its cons. For example, yes, music with lyrics can distract students, but Baker College says that classical music, including Mozart, “can help you focus during studying, and can even help you memorize it faster.” The college not only believes that Mozart can help, but also Bach and Beethoven because they help “categorize information, which is an influential asset to studying.”

But with listening to music comes a price. Going into a student’s perspective, senior Mary Gruber says that music can get her “distracted easily, and hearing other noises can be distracting too.” So having the “peace and quiet” when studying helps her to focus better at the task at hand.

Researchers can also back up this information, saying that music can be a distraction for the task at hand. For example, Saga Briggs said that “music has limitations” and when studying for exams or any other bigger tests, “music may impair cognitive abilities when you’re trying to memorize things in order, because you may get thrown off by the changing words and notes in your chosen song.”

Many students have listened to music for different reasons. Some may not agree with others, but at the end of the day, music can either help a student focus, or distract them with the task at hand. “I really do believe it depends on the person and how you learn best, so really like what works for you, so what that meaning are you kinesthetic like learning, so do you need to get up and move, like retain your information that way, or are you audio, you do like to hear it out loud,” said Ms. Williams.

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