Can Music Help Me Study?

Studying can seem quite tedious or draining depending on your mood, the subject you’re reviewing, the time of year, and your overall schedule. Considering the many factors that can affect the quality of your studying, you might be asking yourself this question: “Can music help me study?” Here are four ways that (some) music can improve your review sessions:

1. It increases connectivity between different brain regions

We have all experienced the feeling of listening to music we enjoy, whether it’s a favorite band or a song that brings back specific memories. Recent research has found that listening to favorite genres or songs correlates with greater connectivity between brain regions called the default mode network (DMN). The DMN is the part of the brain that deals with switching between inner and outer thought. So, if you listen to music that you like while studying, you might find that you can better focus your thoughts. Try playing songs you know very well – as they should be less distracting – during your review session. This will likely improve your mood at the same time! These three study tips may also help you study for your college exams.

2. It lessens anxiety

When asking yourself, “Can music help me study?” consider this – listening to music can also help with anxiety. Choose music that you like, as mentioned above, but keep in mind that slower, smoother music is generally more soothing. Avoid heavy beats and dramatic ups and downs. Consider listening to classical music, especially solo pieces, duets, or those with only a few instruments (versus large orchestral pieces). These selections are more likely to provide a calming atmosphere for your study sessions. You might use this music as a backdrop, or during breaks between stressful, more intense periods of studying. Music is also a great extracurricular activity.

3. It creates an escape from surrounding noise

Depending on where you study, you might need an escape from ambient noise. If you like studying at the library, wonderful; if you study at home, in a dorm, or at a coffee shop with people moving and conversing in the background, try bringing headphones with you. You’ll be able to create a different studying environment for yourself simply by wearing these headphones. You might even try noise-cancelling headphones, which work to cancel out ambient noise. Noise-isolating headphones, on the other hand, are similar to earplugs, where they place a barrier between you and the sounds. There are different price ranges and qualities of headphones, so read recommendations and reviews before you invest in them. These study tips can help you create a good study environment.

4. It provides sustenance for long or monotonous study sessions

If you need to review for an extended period of time, or if the task that you’re engaged in is monotonous, consider using music as a way to break up your study session into more manageable parts. Listening to music can even help you keep track of how long you’ve been studying. These 5 random items can help you study as well.

So, if you are asking yourself, “Can music help me study?” the answer is yes! There are many ways to incorporate it into your review sessions: try different kinds of music that can help with your stamina while studying, or try music streaming services, pre-made playlists, or free online radio. Don’t forget that calming music can also promote a good night’s sleep, which is just as important as you prepare for an important exam. 

Do you love music? So do we! Keep an eye out for the new Varsity Tutors Spotify account, which is coming soon!