All across the country, school is back in session. That means catching up with friends, writing papers and of course, studying.
As many students know, studying takes concentration and focus. The problem is, our brains are wired to scan our surrounding environment for anything potentially important. In a busy school setting, distractions are everywhere. If someone gets up from a table nearby or talks loudly, focus is broken and our attention shifts away from the task at hand. This can make a study session drag on for hours.
Many students have turned to earphones as a solution. This simple addition to a study session can not only block out surrounding noise but allow you to listen to your favorite music. In previous years, there was a belief that any additional noise would interfere with concentration. Many of us were taught to study in a quiet place at a sturdy table. Recently however, studies show that listening to music while studying can actually be beneficial. Bear in mind, there is a catch. The type of music you choose determines if it will help or hinder you. So, it might be time to take a break from that catchy pop playlist.
In the article “Is it Good to Listen to Music While Studying?” from Study.com, author Nicky Davis reveals that music with lyrics tend to disrupt concentration. Instead of focusing on the task or reading in front of you, the brain shifts its focus to comprehending the words being sung. Davis writes that in addition to words causing a distraction, they also have adverse effects on overall mood.
Soothing music is your best choice. Classical, jazz or mellow instrumentals can help students relax while decreasing anxiety and stress. What’s more, calming music can improve overall mood. When your mood is positive, memory formation tends to increase.
A 2007 study from Stanford University found that music not only engages areas of the brain involved with attention, but it also affects areas involved in making predictions. Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to capture brain activity when music was played. Interestingly, brain activity peaked during the silence between musical movements.
According to Jonathan Berger, PhD and co-author of the study, music continuously engages the brain. This process ultimately sharpens the brain’s ability to sustain attention and anticipate events. Who knew music could be such a good teacher?
The question remains, why is only soothing music effective? According to author Dean Burnett in his article “Does music really help you concentrate?” music provides non-invasive noise. Essentially, soothing, lyric-free music provides the background noise our brains crave without compromising concentration.
Think about video game soundtracks. The melodies played in the background are designed to immerse you in the game without distracting you from the necessary actions. Like the Stanford study demonstrates, you might not actively pay attention to the song, but it becomes apparent when music is not playing. Another example is lobby or waiting room music. The purpose is not to grab your attention, but to instead comfort and fill empty space. Study music should function similarly.
If you’re ready to melt into your music and block out the world around you, Decibullz is here to help. Our custom molded earphones stay comfortable in your ear while isolating noise. As you listen to your favorite mellow beats, you can get the most out of your study time.