Should Students Listen to Music while Studying?

Niki Dashtban, Reporter

You have likely seen people studying while listening to music. You have probably been told by some that music is distracting and by others that it is beneficial. Studies have shown that music has numerous positive effects on the human body and brain.


One of the many benefits of listening to music while studying is that it reduces test anxiety. Anxiety has become a terrible barrier when it comes to students and studying. USA Today revealed, “one study found that music’s effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage.” When you are cramming for a stressful exam just put on your headphones—you will surely find that it will ease your anxiety.


When studying for midterms and finals, students’ stress multiplies. The UMD Medical Center suggested to listen to music: “Music is an effective stress reducer in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. Research finds that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels in heart patients.” This statement reveals the incredibly positive effects on the human body when listening to music.


The fact that people say music is distracting is false. A group of researchers in Stanford conducted an experiment, finding that music engages parts of the brain that correlate with paying attention and making predictions. The Stanford study found that “music moves [the] brain to pay attention.” The study shows that music can help you focus more, which is essential when it comes to studying for an upcoming exam. Listening to music even improves your performance. Students who listen to upbeat music before taking a test or before competing in a tournament have been shown to have more pleasing results.  


This study also linked music with certain parts of the brain that control your memory. According to a study conducted at Stanford School of Medicine, music engages the parts of the brain that control your attention span, your ability to make predictions, and the strength of your memory retention.


Students should try listening to music while they work and study. However, it’s important to note that these studies were done with classical music, not music with lyrics. Still, music is a great thing. It is a stress and anxiety reducer, a performance stimulator, and overall good for your health. It is beneficial and fun. So next time you have to study for a major exam, pop in your earbuds and shuffle play your Mozart Spotify playlist.


Works Cited:

Baker, Mitzi. “Music Moves Brain to Pay Attention.” Stanford School of Medicine. Stanford School of Medicine, 01 Aug. 2007. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.

“Stress.” University of Maryland Medical Center. University of Maryland Medical Center, n.d. Web. 03 Apr. 2014.