Music With Homework

Sep 25 2016

by Destiny Abercrumbie

5 Reasons Why You Should Listen to Music While Doing Homework

By Destiny Abercrumbie - Sep 25 2016
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If you are like me, then when you have to study for a test or do any type of homework, doing it in complete silence just feels weird. You need something to happen in the background, a little noise that can help you stay focused and not let your mind wander off. The perfect solution is to listen to music while doing homework because it helps block off the rest of the world's distractions. To some people, it may be a bad thing, but here's why it's a good thing.

1. Music helps you study.

There have been studies done by universities such as The University of Wales that show that listening to music while studying can improve memory, attention and your ability to do mental math, as well as lessen depression and anxiety. 

Researchers also did a test to see how background music affects students' test scores. The students who took a test with music did have a lower average score than those who didn’t have music, but the researchers noted that there was a lot of variation in the scores. This could tell us that the effect of music can vary a lot from person to person. Researchers believe that more research needs to be done on how the factors of tempo, genre or whether students are used to having music on make any difference.

2. Music helps you focus.

According to a study done at Johns Hopkins University, playing background music for creativity and reflection activities such as journaling, writing, problem-solving, goal-setting, project work or brainstorming is a great thing. There are also many uses for music including active learning. You can take a sound break or move around activities to increase productivity, energize students during daily energy lulls, provide a stimulating sound break to increase attention, make exercise more fun and encourage movement activities. To read more on this study, click here.

3. 'The Mozart Effect' is a real thing.

The Mozart Effect is book by Don Campbell that has the world's research on all the beneficial effects of certain type of music. This book includes research on how music makes us smarter. Scientists at Stanford University in California have recently revealed a molecular basis for the Mozart Effect, but not other music. Dr. Rauscher and her colleague H. Li, a geneticist, have discovered that rats, like humans, perform better on learning and memory tests after listening to a specific Mozart sonata.Some of the many benefits of the Mozart Effect include improvement in test scores, cut learning times, reduced errors, improved creativity and clarity, faster body healing, integration of both sides of the brain for more efficient learning and raised IQ scores by nine points, according to research done at University of California, Irvine.

4. Music makes us smarter.

In 1996, the College Entrance Exam Board Serviceconducted a study on all students taking their SAT exams. Students who either sang or played a musical instrument scored an average of 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and an average of 39 points higher on math. According to the research outlined in the book, musical pieces such as those of Mozart can relieve stress, improve communication and increase efficiency. Music starts up our brain and makes us feel more energetic and a link has been made between music and learning. 

According to Don Campbell, the author of the Mozart Effect, "In the workplace, music raises performance levels and productivity by reducing stress and tension, masking irritating sounds and contributing to a sense of privacy."

5. Music improves the brain and helps heal the body.

Music also stimulates different regions of the brain responsible for memory, motor control, timing and language. At McGill University in Montreal, neuroscientist Anne Blood, said, "You can activate different parts of the brain, depending on what music you listen to. So music can stimulate parts of the brain that are underactive in neurological diseases or a variety of emotional disorders. Over time, we could retrain the brain in these disorders." 

Harvard University Medical School neurobiologist, Mark Jude Tramo, says that "Undeniably, there is a biology of music.  There is no question that there is specialization within the human brain for the processing of music.  Music is biologically part of human life, just as music is aesthetically part of human life."

In conclusion, there are many benefits to listening to music and it is not a bad thing to do in order to stay focused.  So if you ever need a solution to stay focused or concentrate on the task at hand, slip on a pair of headphones and play some music.

Lead Image Credit: Steinar La Engeland via Unsplash


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While sitting down to study in the Findlay Commons I look around and notice all the different study habits between students. A certain study habit is more effective for someone in comparison to others because all brains work differently when trying to integrate memorization or muscle memory.  A study shows the most effective study habits include practicing by yourself, memory games, and going to your own quiet place. Those ways are typically the way I study. But, when I walk around the commons I notice more people than not wearing headphones and studying. I never really understood the reasoning of listening to music while studying because it is another voice in your head that takes away the sole purpose of memorization. Since I never understood the meaning for this interesting study habit, I researched whether music leads to better results for those that listen to it.


I tried to listen to music while studying and could not focus on the task at hand. But, a study shows that music is beneficial when studying. A study done by Elana Goodwin states, “Studies have shown that listening to music before studying or performing a task can be beneficial as it improves attention, memory, and even your ability to do mental math as well as helping lessen depression and anxiety.” The researchers typically compare this to the Mozarts Effect. For those who do not know, the Mozarts Effect is a study that shows while listening to Mozart’s music one receives a short-term improvement in their capabilities.


But, I found a flaw in there correlation with Mozarts Effect. I walked up to 10 different kids in the Findlay commons that were studying for a quiz or midterm and listening to music. I proceeded to ask them what genre of music they were listening to and whom. The responses varied from rap, to pop, to country, but none of them had Mozarts’ pieces playing in their earbuds. The survey take was very small, but typically high school/college students who have proven to benefit from listening to music while studying are listening to different genres.

Another study done also proves that listening to music can effect studying. But, the studying must be an organizational related study. Perham, the researcher involved in the study claims, “Listening to music may diminish your cognitive abilities in these situations because when you’re trying to memorize things in order, you can get thrown off and confused by the various words and notes in the song playing in the background.” The organization of one’s study can be altered because of the words or beat that is constantly in one’s head. The music genre does not matter, the sound effects the performance in itself.

The studies shown prove that music can be both beneficial and digressive. Differentiating between the type of study someone is engaged in plays a key factor. Also, the person’s tolerance level to noise and whether they use it progressively can determine whether they listen to music while studying. Studying should not be based off other peoples’ opinions of how study. There is no better way to study but your own because different study habits make one more comfortable in comparison to others. This study shows that I should not be so quick to judge other students and how they study because maybe they find it beneficial. Some people succeed when put in specific scenarios, and one scenario I will never find useful is music during study hours, but people are different and results vary.

Works-Cited:

1.) http://www.uloop.com/news/view.php/149570/Do-Or-Dont-Studying-While-Listening-To

2.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281386/

3.) http://psychcentral.com/lib/top-10-most-effective-study-habits/2/

4.) http://www.mindthesciencegap.org/2012/10/08/does-music-help-you-study/

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by David Jonathan Correll.

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