I’m sure that you have been in this situation before: you’re doing some last minute studying for midterms, finals, or APs and you’re in your studying zone – music on, brain juices flowing – when your parents break down the door and tell you to “turn off that racket!” (One of the most popular adult phrases, along with “get better grades!”) Well, you were studying just fine until they came in and now you probably won’t get anything else done because they totally ruined your flow. Let me give you some advice – don’t turn it down.
Music is great for creating the perfect study atmosphere. Research has shown that music can help to create a more positive mood and that studying while happy or satisfied can help you retain more information. Sounds like a one-two punch of awesome, right? It is, but you need to find the right balance.
First things first, don’t listen to any genre of music that you don’t already like. For example, if you like classic rock, Hannah Montana probably isn’t for you. While I would recommend listening to something soft, it’s completely your choice. The purpose of listening to music while studying isn’t to distract you, but to create a buffer between you/your work and outside distractions.
Some will say that baroque classical music, or even more specifically, Mozart, is best for studying. There are some valid points to this argument: you won’t get distracted singing along with the melodies! But if classical music really bums you out, then don’t bother. It’ll just make your homework seem more tedious and unbearable. Just try to pick music that will keep you awake, alert, energetic, and focused. Not music that will have you dancing around, all thoughts of your homework thrown away while you jam out.
My preferred genre of music for studying is “lounge.” While generally frowned upon by music fanatics, lounge music provides the right combination of atmospheric melodies and hypnotizing beats to get me in the “zone.” This genre includes groups such as Quantic, Thievery Corporation, Klement Julienne, and Moby.
While I can’t tell you specifically what type of music to listen to while you’re studying, I can tell you that it is of the utmost importance that you not be changing songs constantly. If you have a massive music collection, go ahead and make a playlist but if you don’t have a huge collection (or even if you do), I would recommend using Pandora Radio. On Pandora .com, you can set “seeds” for a station and customize it to your liking. It will play continuously with related music so that you can get your study on.
So the next time your parents tell you to turn down the music, feel free to hit them with some study-related research, crank up the tunes, and get better grades. Your favorite music can get you into the right frame of mind to learn and remember the most. I wish you the best of luck in studying, and for more study-related tips, check out our effective study skills website SchoolDestroyer.com