Do you know these facts about music and learning?
Music is very much an integral part of our lives. We keep the favourites on repeat and discover new music to keep our moods up. There is always a song that relates to every situation we face. Sometimes we listen to (and even mishear) lyrics while sometimes; it’s just the beats that brush past our ears.
Whatever the scenario, music is something that we enjoy at any time of the day. And some even love to study with music in the background. You might be familiar with this idea and even know somebody in your circle that studies chemistry with deadmau5 blaring out from his speakers. You may be aware of some of these facts about music and learning.
Whether music will enhance your memory or just be a noisy distraction depends on your personality and even on your study environment. There have been numerous researches on the effect of music on brain but it has yielded varied results. As of today, there is no conclusive answer to the question whether you should study with some melodies or in silence.
Anyway, let’s head to some interesting facts about music and learning.
1. Mozart won’t make you intelligent
If you went to school in 1990s, you know this popular belief that listening to Mozart or any other classical music will make the kid intelligent. Some parents even played classical piano music for their children in hopes that it will make their child bright.
Well that’s not really true. There is no scientific evidence that proves that classical music makes you Einstein. Some people prefer the classical music because it is mellifluous and devoid of vocals.
2. Introverts may not benefit
Whether music will help you focus better or prove to be a distraction for you depends on your personality. Introverts tend to be cautious, alert and observant. They are already on the edge and very much aroused. They do not need any external stimulus to focus. So probably, music will not help them concentrate because they are already focused.
3. May work for extroverts
Extroverts are extremely open, outgoing and constantly need stimulation. Focusing on a single task at a time (for long duration) is very difficult for them. Especially, activities that involve focusing on a single subject or sit around for hours. Music might cheer them up and help them concentrate on the task at hand.
4. Lyrical music does not help
Classical music or modern EDM; vocals are clearly disturbing. Especially it does not help when Katy Perry Roars while you are doing some new task, trying to understand a new concept or reading something. Your brain will just end up multitasking, listen to the lyrics and try to decipher what you are reading at the same time.
It’s better to work with instrumental music or in silence in such cases.
5. Marathon with music
Study marathon with music is always better than study marathons in silence. Your favourite music can instantly boost your mood and give you those much needed positive vibes when you are exhausted.
6. Research is mixed
As mentioned earlier, numerous studies have been carried out on music and learning, effects of music on brain and many more related topics.
But the research is complex due to the variables involved. It depends on various factors like personality, music preference, type of task, surroundings, type of music (the range varies from piano sonatas to death metal) and even subjects. But these researches have drawn some common facts about music and learning.
7. Vocals are okay with math
Even though majority of the people will find it distracting, vocal music might just work for some people. Especially those involved with dry and repetitive tasks like math, arithmetic, chemistry or programming.
8. Disturbs reading
It was discovered that music while reading proved to be a distraction. Students who listened to music while reading, were efficient than people who read in silence. Most of the students preferred reading in silence.
9. Music boosts your mood
Music may not make you a wiz at your subject or magically get you an ‘A’ but it will certainly put you in a good mood.
10. Music improves your memory
You might recall how you learned the alphabet with the alphabet song. You might also recall a number of nursery rhymes from the childhood even though you haven’t come across them in decades. You remember all this because they were songs.
Also, your brain looks for some patterns to understand, process and compile information better.
11. Music enhances your recall ability
Similarly, if you were listening to some song or any background noise while learning or memorizing something, you are most likely to recall it later while listening to the same noise sometime later.
The only drawback of this is that you will have to listen to the same music to retain the information better.
12. Make your notes sing
If you try to rhyme some of facts and dates and events, it will be etched in your brain better. Like making historical events rhyme with their years to make them easily memorable. For example,
“In fourteen ninety two (1492),
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
13. Music relieves stress
This works almost for everybody. Listening to your favourite music can instantly put you in better mood and curb the levels of “Cortisol” the stress hormone. Lower levels of cortisol will certainly improve learning capabilities and memory.
14. Music might enhance creativity
Just as music can help some people focus better, it can also facilitate creativity if you are feeling blocked or stuck. Moderate or ambient music or anything but loud music can help you process a task.
Loud music can be very distracting as your brain processes the vivid sounds instead of focusing on the task at hand.
15. Reasoning and fine motor skills
People who learn to play one or the other kind of musical instrument are good at reasoning and it develops their fine motor skills. This also helps them with their non-verbal skills as well as language and vocabulary.
Music releases a chemical ‘dopamine’ which is responsible for motivation as well as addiction. This is why some people get goose bumps while listening to their favourite music. Dopamine is the chemical that is associated with euphoria. This motivates us to exercise, study or get through just about any task.
17. Associated with right side of the brain
The right half of our brain is associated with the intuitive, emotional and creative side. This side is often less used as we rely more on the left side for logic, math, strategy and prudent worries. Exercising the right side will generate a balance between the two halves and lessen stress and anxiety.
Music can help you escape. If you are a student, then you know well that getting a few minutes for yourself can really be difficult. You cannot escape the industrial noises (like honking of cars) and libraries can be too quiet. And silence is just not for everyone. Especially, the creepy, deafening silence.
In such cases, you might just want to put on some soft melodies on your headphones. It actually helps to study with some soft music.
19. Activates the entire brain
Music is one of those few activities that exercise the entire brain. Your entire brain reacts to the music. It activates your auditory parts of the brain, memory centers, language centers, frontal lobe, cerebellum and many other parts.
20. Music learners are more likely to be creative
People with a background in arts are likely to be creative. The part of the brain that deals with music is also the part that deals with emotions and creativity. This is certainly helpful in the long run as these people have varied outlooks on any subject and come up with new alternatives to a problem.
21. Vocals can get you hooked
Instrumental music can help you focus better but vocals can create a mess. If you are hooked to a song and for some reason you cannot get it out of your head, it is going to disturb you during memorizing something or even worse during exams.
22. Can make you curious
If you are a music learner and you are pursuing it from a very young age, it naturally develops curiosity towards learning new music. This applies to other things as well.
23. Music increases endurance
Just as music enhances mood and positive vibes, it motivates you. When you are in a good mood, you can perform better and endure long study sessions. So whenever you start losing interest, listening to an upbeat song can refresh you and boost your endurance and morale. Be sure to pick tunes that will prevent you from dozing off but at the same time won’t make you dance.
24. Control the volume
When it comes to studying and memorizing with music, classical music is as good as the EDM. But the volume should range from low to moderate. Loud music will just distract you and drown out any ideas or thoughts that cross your mind.
25. Music is certainly relaxing
Whether it will help during your study hours or not, music will certainly relax you. Putting on some jazz music or piano sonatas at the end of your study sessions will relax you and help you retain most of the information.
So these were some of the interesting facts about music and learning. While concrete research and conclusive evidence on the topic is still awaited, we can all agree that life without music would be dull.
A little bit of rap will give you that boost of self-confidence and a little bit of jazz would make you feel like Gatsby and some cannot imagine a relaxed life without the white noise and meditation music.
When all is said and done, you will have to try it out for yourself if music helps you study better. In some cases, you might already have some background noises that keep you alert. In other cases, you can actually refer to some study playlists on Spotify.
I really hope you liked these facts about music and learning.
Here are some music suggestions for studying. Click here.
Do comment if you know any facts about music and learning in the comment section.