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Viewpoint: Listening to Music While Studying

Allison Steele, Government Reporter

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As finals approach students will start to study more and prepare for their exams. This can be a very stressful time for students especially since their classes are wrapping up. While studying most students do listen to music, and many have been questioning if this does help them concentrate. 

Listening to music does help when students are studying. According to Florida National University, “Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to listen to music during a study session is because music is proven to help improve cognitive performance.”  

There have been multiple studies done that prove listening to classical music or Mozart’s music may help students study by improving their short-term memory. This effect is called the Mozart Effect. It was first discovered by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis in 1991. Since this discovery people have still questioned and have done their own research on this topic. 

When asked if he listens to music while studying and what types, Zachary Delgado UWL Senior, answered, “Yes, I kinda keep to just the music I listen to normally, so that would consist of pop, rock, and alternative.”  

Delgado continued, “I think just staying consistent with the music that I normally listen to [helps me concentrate]. Music that I already know, not like listening new stuff. It doesn’t really work with me with deep focus music where it’s all instrumental, because I don’t normally listen to that. Just the songs I already know.”  

Background music can improve someone’s focus by providing motivation and by improving their mood. It may also help with one’s endurance. According to Learning Statistics, “Studying occurred under one of three conditions: silence, unpleasant/ aggressive music, or pleasant/calm music. It was found that performance was best when pupils had studied with pleasant music playing in the background. Performance was worst in the unpleasant, aggressive music condition.”  

For most people, background music or calmer music helps them study, such as Freshman Angelique Zyrkowski. Zyrkowski explained, “I haven’t listened to music while I studied for finals yet. Certain types of music that I listen to that is more mellow and quiet helps me. But I can’t listen to songs that I like to get pumped to, because I get distracted,” commented Zyrkowski. 

“It depends on what I’m studying for, if I need to put a lot of effort into it and a lot of work, then I try to avoid it. If I’m writing a paper and it comes more easily for me then I’ll listen to music,” Zyrkowski added. 

Music may help students concentrate and focus while studying. The types of music also have an effect on students. Classical music, as the studies show, help students concentrate more especially if the student really needs to focus on what they are reading.

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