Why most Music DOESN’T help focus – and which types do.

Billions of people listen to music every day, and that number will most definitely grow as more people get access to music streaming services. Many people believe that music helps you study, but, believe it or not, science says otherwise. 40% of global music consumers listen to music while working or studying, so putting these tips into practice can put you ahead of the curve.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Gordon Shaw created a study suggesting that listening to music makes students smarter, claiming that his test group had their IQ score increase by 9 points while studying with classical music.

Now, not everything you have heard about music is false. Music improves your mood, decreases stress, and releases dopamine, which is a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness. However, there is an element of music that is detrimental to your focus and studying success which few people address.

Lyrics

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A study from the University of Phoenix shows that music with lyrics causes students to struggle with reading, writing, and studying.

This is because the brain has immense difficulty with listening to the lyrics while studying or working at the same time. Your brain ‘splits’ its focus in half, making it less effective in achieving the task at hand.

 

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May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
— Nelson Mandela

 

Don’t worry, not all music is bad for studying. If you listen to music without lyrics, like classical music, it actually carries benefits, like improved focus.

Should you even Listen to music at all?

Well, it depends.

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If you don’t like music without lyrics, then it might be better off to not listen to music at all, because it would do more harm than good.

As you may know, there is a correlation between mood and motivation, and listening to music you don’t like lowers your mood (and therefore, your motivation to work).

 

However, if you are a fan of classical music, lofi, or any other genre without lyrics, listening to music can give you significant benefits to your mood, and your focus whilst studying, or working.

 

Need a tool to help you out? Check out Clickup, a productivity tool that I use daily to organize my life. This is the best tool for studying, as it gives you access to powerful tools like Docs for notes, Time Tracking for keeping track of assignment progress, and notifications so you never forget a single assignment, ever.


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