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The Pros and Cons of Listening to Music While Studying

Afonso Potes

Your semester has probably started, and as we’re slowly beckoning for summer to arrive, already you’re wishing for it to end so you can hit the beach, isn’t that right? If this is the case, remember: not everything about going to class is bad. Try looking at the bright side of things or else you won’t be able to make it through the semester.

You can anticipate the feeling of summer, however, with a bit of music while you’re studying. The good thing about studying is going through a million Spotify playlists. If you’re anything like me, you’re used to doing this. What sometimes comes to mind is, “will listening to music be good for me or will it affect my attention?”.

The Pros

Well, several studies have shown that listening to music before studying or performing other tasks that require your total focus can be beneficial. It improves your memory, attention, and reduces the levels of anxiety and depression.

Plus, listening to classical music (also known as the Mozart effect) won’t make you smarter, but it will:

  1. Improve creativity;
  2. Avoid outside distractions;
  3. Increase your study periods;
  4. Help control your mood;
  5. Help retain information easily.

But don’t forget that what was stated above only works with songs with a maestro:

And not with these ones:

The Cons

Unfortunately, listening to music while studying also has its cons. If you’re the type of person who gets distracted very easily or has some difficulties with multitasking, then listening to music while studying might not lead to good results! It’ll be very easy to lose focus from what you’re studying and listen to the lyrics instead.

Should you listen to music while studying? Researchers say it depends. If your tasks require keeping track of several pieces of information at once while processing them, then you may somehow be affected by any kind of background noise, and you should thus do it in a calmer environment.

Your personality also seems to play a role on whether you benefit from listening to your favourite tunes while studying. As such, both factors, task complexity and personality, seem to influence your productivity while listening to music.

Nevertheless, positive effects of background music have been found and it may certainly be worth trying out. Check out the study playlist we put together just for you:


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What are your favourite songs for studying? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to our playlist. And remember: if you’re looking for student accommodation in Europe, you’ll find the perfect student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.

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