The correlation between music and studying is complicated. Studies show that increased concentration relies on the musical genre and the emotions stirred up
Classical music is known to calm down people who are feeling agitated. However, can it stimulate and improve cognitive function and concentration?
Irrespective of whether you’re trying to concentrate on finalizing a work presentation or wrapping up a university assignment, keeping focus is essential. There are certain tried and tested methods that have proven to be successful - some of which are pretty surprising. For instance, did you know that playing online casino games like no deposit slots can improve cognitive function? Don’t believe us? Well, perhaps science may be more convincing. Several studies have shown that they enhance people’s mood, reduce anxiety, help with problem-solving and decision-making skills, and above all, promote mental focus!
But, if you prefer going down a more traditional route and listening to music while working, you may be interested in finding out whether the cliché is true: does classical music boost concentration? Let’s find out…
While many believe there’s some claim that classical music makes people smarter, other studies demonstrate that it doesn’t. What it surely does, however, is enhance your mood and this is known as The Mozart effect.
A study that came out in the 90s showed that classical music, such as listening to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos, can boost spatial reasoning abilities and test results. But what’s spatial reasoning? It’s the ability to find space and move in it, link disparate objects, and solve problems.
Classical music is thought to help the brain process the plethora of information coming in from the world around you by breaking it down and categorising it into digestible segments.
Music can stimulate your brain to the extent that it’s driven to pay more attention to the events around it and even make predictions on what’s going to happen next. And while improved reasoning abilities won’t help you pull solutions out of thin air; they can help you reason your way to a solution based on facts and information in your possession.
Research from the Institute of Education (IOE) claimed that when children listen to classical music, it not only helps their concentration but their self-discipline too. Additionally, it improves their listening skills through instructional exposure.
Research from France shows that during a one-hour lecture, students who took a quiz with classical music playing in the background performed better than those who took the quiz without any music.
Rhythmic variations in music can affect the ways neurons respond to these brain rhythms, stirring up different emotions along the way. These neurons spike slowly when listening to soft, slow music and quickly when responding to a faster tempo.
Listening to slow, soft, and tranquil music can help you relax. It can even curb and reduce your anxiety levels if you are stressed and help you sleep better.
However, music with faster beats and louder variations can motivate you and make you more alert. Ideally, listening to faster music should take place during your study or work breaks.
Can listening to music affect you negatively when studying or working?
Unfortunately, listening to music doesn’t help everyone to concentrate though there are some massive discrepancies between listening to classical music and pop music or faster genres.
Listening to your favourite tunes can be uplifting when your mood is low or when you’re stressed; however, it might not be ideal when hitting your books or when your cognitive abilities need to be in top-notch mode.
If you’re trying to come up with a defence argument in a term paper or solve a difficult algebraic formula, music that’s too upbeat, loud, or fast might disrupt your train of thought or slow down your momentum.
Songs that emanate strong feelings of pain, sadness, joy, or elation are best to be avoided as these can affect your ability to concentrate.
It can impair your working memory and impact comprehension
We use working memory when trying to remember items on a list or history dates chronologically.
Most people can digest a few pieces of information at a time. Listening to music, however, can impact your memory capacity especially if it is loud and fast. If you already have a hard time juggling an abundant amount of information, music could render this process more difficult.
Loud instrumental music with lyrics could make it more difficult to grasp reading material as the focus could easily go on what is being sung rather than the information you need to absorb and remember.
So, if you want to listen to music that could help you concentrate and stimulate your cognitive abilities, it’s best to keep the volume low, avoid music that changes abruptly or lacks a fixed rhythm and opt for soft, classical music instead.
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