Does listening to music while studying help you?
Studying requires great focus in order for the study material to be absorbed into memory. However, it is very common for the mind to drift after a while and then before you know it, several minutes have gone by without productive learning.
This happens to most people and is not necessarily a sign of Attention Deficit Disorder, although having ADD can exacerbate the problem. Since studying is a very important (if not always appreciated) part of life for students and is necessary for learning, students must find ways to improve concentration while studying.
One way to combat the tendency for the mind to wander is through sound. Although it may seem at first glance that music would only be a distraction, in truth listening to music while studying is helpful for many people.
There are many reasons music can aid studying, and researchers are still analyzing this phenomenon to find out more information. In order to understand how music can aid concentration, it is most helpful to understand a little about how the brain works.
Brain waves, which result from electrical activity in the brain, have a tremendous effect on concentration and learning. The main types of brain waves consist of beta, alpha, theta, and delta. In very general terms, beta is associated with a lot of physical alertness and activity. Alpha is a calmer wave and lends more focus.
Theta is a deeper, meditative state and delta is a sleep state. These brain waves combine and shift frequently throughout the day in response to internal and external factors.
Combinations of alpha and theta brain waves are believed to be the best for concentration and absorbing information. Since brain waves easily change in response to music, listening to music while studying can be very helpful. For reasons that may now be obvious to you, it cannot be just any music, however. Music that is too distracting and keeps the brain producing beta waves can have a negative impact on studying.
Some of the best music to use as a study aid is classical pieces by Mozart, Chopin and Bach. Modern instrumental pieces and movie scores can also be helpful. You should avoid hyperactive pieces and pop or rock as these tend to draw attention away from studying and towards the music. As each individual is unique, some experimentation may be necessary, however, to find the most appropriate kind of music for prime concentration.