The future of music

8 Benefits of Listening to Music While Studying

June 8, 2023
benefits of listening to music while studying

There’s no doubt about it – music is an important part of human life in a number of ways.

The positive effect of music on health is undeniable, and research has shown that music reduces anxiety, boosts memory, and improves focus.

And all of these things will ultimately help you learn and retain new information – in other words, music can help you study. 

Keep reading to discover more about the benefits of listening to music while studying. 

But we must warn you – if you prefer silence while studying, this article may inspire you to try something new.

Benefits of Studying To Music 

Listening to music indeed comes with numerous benefits. 

Music can reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality and mental well-being… The list goes on and on.

But when it comes to studying, some people believe music can be a distraction – you need to focus on memorizing new and sometimes complex information, after all.

So, is it better to study with music or in silence? 

Well, there is evidence that the right kind of music has an impact on our ability to concentrate and memorize things.

Plus, there are some other proven benefits that can make the whole process more enjoyable.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the advantages of listening to music while studying. 

1. It helps you focus

First and foremost, listening to music improves focus.

If you have a wandering mind, music can help you concentrate on the task at hand.

The thing is, our minds can be easily distracted by background noise and all sorts of sounds.

And music can block those unwanted sounds and improve your focus.

This is especially important in situations where you’re surrounded by other people – in libraries, classrooms, and other crowded venues. 

A group of people studying using laptop

Essentially, music can make your whole study session more efficient. 

And that’s the ultimate goal – to learn more in less time.

After all, it’s important to learn how to study smart and not how to study hard.

If you have limited time to prepare for an exam or write an essay, learning how to study smart can be a lifesaver.

But let’s get back to how music affects your brain and improves your focus. 

One of the reasons music can help you focus is because certain music can act as a stimulus that engages the brain – this way, your studying material will seem more engaging. 

Plus, music provides a rhythm that can keep you alert. 

However, it’s important to listen to the kind of music that won’t distract you from your studying material.

But if you listen to the right kind of music, you’ll be able to preoccupy the unconscious part of your brain and therefore focus on what’s in front of you. 

2. It boosts your memory

Another thing that might encourage you to listen to music while studying is the fact that music boosts memory.

Listening to music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, and speech.

And research showed that music helps us retrieve stored memories as well as lay down new ones.

That said, if you’re having trouble memorizing new material, maybe you should try to listen to music.

3. It reduces stress levels and anxiety

It has also been shown that music reduces stress levels, and that can be a major factor in the efficiency and success of your study sessions.

In a 2013 study, researchers concluded that music impacts our psychobiological stress system in a positive way.

And anything that can relieve stress will ultimately allow you to study effectively.

Also, listening to calming music like classical music can help reduce anxiety – it can help calm your nervous system and lower cortisol levels.

All in all, music is very effective in stress management and relaxation, and it’s ultimately good for your mental health.

Many people feel stressed or anxious while studying and preparing for exams, and that’s why listening to music while studying can be a game-changer.

4. It motivates you to study 

Besides helping you feel calm, relaxed, and focused, music can also be a strong motivation booster.

Music can make you feel energized and it can eliminate boredom, which can help you study for a longer period of time.

2 persons talking and holding a earphone

Motivation is a crucial part of efficient studying – if you start to feel unmotivated and discouraged, you will automatically stop properly retaining new information.

Plus, although it’s important for certain tasks, silence can become mind-numbingly dull – and that’s where good tunes come to the rescue.

So, whenever you start to feel tired or your mind starts to wander, choose a motivating playlist that will help you reach your daily goal. 

5. It improves cognitive thought

Another interesting fact about music is that different types of music can trigger certain cognitive responses.

For instance, classical music can help you recall numbers more quickly, and it can help you with spatial reasoning – this is known as the Mozart Effect.

The Mozart Effect is a scientific theory that listening to classical music (like Mozart’s compositions) increases spatial intelligence and therefore enables people to perceive and derive insight from visual data more effectively.

One thing is for sure – classical music or any other calming instrumental music can have a positive effect on our cognitive abilities.

That said, if you want to study better, finding a soothing classical playlist for studying might not be such a bad idea. 

6. It can help you organize your study sessions

Listening to music can also help you structure your study sessions.

For example, you can use albums or playlists as a timeframe for studying.

This way, you’ll be able to stay on the right track and progress at the pace that will allow you to reach your daily studying goals.

This aligns with popular time management theories and methods (like the Pomodoro Technique) that support the idea of breaking work or study time into smaller chunks.

And matching your work intervals with music might be a great way to approach this. 

7. It lessens distractions

Music can make your studying more productive because it lessens distractions and allows you to enter the flow state.

The flow state is usually defined as the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed.

So, it’s a state of complete focus and effortless attention.

someone is reading book

If you want to enter this productive state while studying, you need to eliminate distractions and focus on the process. 

And as we mentioned before, music can help you focus on the task at hand, and it can help you maintain productivity and concentration.

Moreover, some types of music (like lo-fi and ambient) are known to evoke certain meditative responses and feelings that can help you enter the flow state more easily. 

8. It boosts your mood 

Finally, music can make your studying more enjoyable.

In short – music makes us happier.

It can boost the brain’s production of dopamine, a hormone that influences your mood and feelings of reward and motivation. 

Music is processed directly by the amygdala – this is the part of the brain involved in mood and emotions.

And if you listen to the right kind of music while studying, you’ll stay in a better mood and therefore be more productive and energized.

So, wherever studying and preparing for exams starts to be tedious or exhausting, switch your studying background music to something that will elevate your mood. 

Does Listening to Music Affect Academic Performance? 

As you can see, music can be a great aid for studying and working – it can help you focus and motivate you to study. 

Music can also improve performance in high-pressure situations as it reduces stress levels and anxiety. 

And all of these factors are important in achieving good results in school, University, or any other projects that entail studying and tests. 

The thing is, learning huge study materials is not only challenging – it can also be quite tedious.

And that’s why listening to music can be very helpful.

Music can help you study for a longer period of time and generally make you feel happier and more inspired to learn.

But how exactly can music improve your academic performance?

a boy studying while listening to a music in earphone

For starters, music is proven to improve brain functions

Also, music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and that can maximize learning and improve memory.

Music helps your brain pay attention, and it helps it categorize information. 

And last but not least, music reduces anxiety – and anxiety is one of the most common problems during exam periods. 

So all things considered, music can positively affect your scores and academic performance.

Music helps in indirect ways, but that can still make a big difference.

Of course, there are also other ways you can improve your study habits and make your study time more efficient and productive.

Listening to Mozart won’t suddenly turn you into a straight-A student.

To improve your academic performance, you need to learn how to study smarter, and you need to explore different methods to find a technique that suits you best. 

Best Music to Study To? 

We mentioned several times that listening to the right kind of music can be beneficial to learning and studying. 

But what is the ‘right kind of music’, and what genres are best for studying?

Well, classical music is known to be the best study music – it’s usually peaceful and wordless, so it won’t distract you from your reading material or tasks.

In fact, many studies suggest that classical music boosts brain power. 

And that’s why you’ll find plenty of productivity and study music playlists based on compositions by Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven. 

However, everyone has different music preferences, and what works for you might not work for someone else and vice versa. 

Therefore, it’s important to choose music for studying that fits your taste.

After all, classical is not the only genre that can help you study better.

Besides classical music, the types of music that are regarded as the best genres to study include:

  • Modern electronic 
  • Instrumental rock
  • Jazz
  • Ambient

Some sounds like nature sounds can also be a good studying background. 

But what kind of music is best for studying depends on your preferences as well as your goals.

Songs without lyrics are great for reading and writing, while upbeat songs can be good energy boosters. 

Music streaming platforms and internet radio stations can also be good sources as they allow you to fully devote yourself to studying. 

Alternatively, you can create a playlist in advance.

At the end of the day, you need to find out what works for you

Also, don’t forget to keep your music at a moderate volume level – you might get distracted otherwise. 

Are There Any Disadvantages to Listening to Music While Studying?

The good news is, as long as you choose the right type of music to study, there aren’t any notable drawbacks to listening to music while studying.

So, don’t listen to the playlist of the best tunes you’ve recently discovered.

Listening to the songs you like might be motivating, but it can also be distracting, especially if you’re a music enthusiast.

That’s one of the reasons many people listen to classical and ambient music while studying.

Also, listening to your favorite tunes might evoke some memories and feelings that will momentarily shift your focus.

Choose something neutral instead – something you’ll find enjoyable but not emotionally intense. 

A man watching and listening on laptop

The purpose of listening to music while studying or working should be to keep you focused, interested, and motivated.

And that’s why choosing the right music for studying is essential.

Thankfully, there are countless study and productivity playlists on YouTube and streaming platforms like Spotify. 

And if you’re passionate about making playlists and exploring new genres, you can create your own study mix.

Benefits of Listening to Music While Studying – Final Thoughts

Music offers plenty of benefits that are directly related to study skills and productivity.

Listening to music improves focus, reduces stress levels, and improves cognitive thought. 

And these are only some of the benefits of listening to music while studying.

That being said if you want to improve your study habits, create or find a playlist that suits you best and incorporate it into your study routine. 

You may also like: Music Glossary: 65 Music Terms You Should Know

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

view profile

Best Bad Bunny Songs
Previous Story

13 Best Bad Bunny Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

Best Metallica Songs
Next Story

14 Best Metallica Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

Latest from Music Industry