Music While Studying: Helpful or Hurtful

As high school students are constantly fighting the stress of studying for that next exam, some have found a method that increases focus and efficiency: listening to music. A Healthline study from 2007 shows that studying while listening to classical music has been proven to help students’ brains absorb new material more easily.

“I do see an improvement in my focus level when I am listening to music while studying,” junior Luke Bejarano said. “I think it puts me in the right mindset and keeps me focused on the task at hand.” 

Another recent study by Healthline has shown that music before exams or while studying made volunteers feel more relaxed, or put them in a better and more cheerful mood. 

“I’ve noticed that when I listen to music, I’m more productive when I study so it leads to better results,” senior Faizan Jaffer said. 

On the other hand, there are some negative aspects of listening to music while studying. According to Healthline, some of those negative aspects include the general distraction of lyrics or noise students are hearing and a negative impact on working memory. 

“I don’t like listening to music while I study because I prefer to work in a quiet space,” freshman Justin Cho said. “For me, listening to music poses a distraction while I’m trying to focus.”

Working memory activities include remembering steps for a math problem, items on a list, or facts. 

“I started listening to music in my sophomore year while studying,” junior Maddie Ahn said. “I listen to more chill music and R&B so I don’t get too distracted.”

As most students prefer to listen to music while studying, teachers tend to have a different perspective. 

“I think it depends on what the music is. I think if it’s just background music then it could help the efficiency as it filters out other distracting noises, but I think if there’s words to it, it could get a little distracting,” Pre-Calculus and PVIT teacher Lorraine Loh-Norris said. 

“I would think music would help for science and math because you’re not reading every word and not understanding sentences and paragraphs.”

While most individuals prefer to listen to music, there are still mixed opinions on how it impacts the studying experience.