Does Music Help You Study? Or is Silence Better?


You walk into the room and your child is listening to music while they study. Do you tell them to turn it off so they can focus? Or do you encourage them to keep on listening? Read on to find out how to decide what to do.

In my house, we often have music on in the background while we play or do chores. But when I’m working, I can’t turn it off fast enough. I need quiet to focus! 🙉 But is that true for everyone?

Some of my students swear they need music to help them focus while studying. It’s hard to tell sometimes if they are really focusing better, or if the music is actually making them get off task. It begs the question: does music help or hurt when it comes to studying? 🎶


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Is it better to study with music or silence? 


You may have heard of the “Mozart effect” - the belief that listening to classical music, like Mozart’s, can help students become smarter. It turns out that it’s not as straightforward as that, but there can be some benefits to listening to music during certain types of work.


Music improves students’ moods, meaning it’s good for mental health. Students are better able to focus on academic tasks when they are calm and happy, so listening to music that boosts their mood could be just what they need. 🤗


Music while studying is not for everyone. It seems to help more for students who have an extroverted personality  - introverts get overstimulated easier and might not be able to focus with music playing (ahem, me🙋🏻‍♀️).


If you find that music helps your child’s mood, but is too distracting during actual studying time, you can play music for 10-20 minutes before they start work. Then you get the benefits of a great mood without the distraction!


Does music help you concentrate better?


Sometimes. 🎵


Is your student studying in a loud environment? Background noise like other kids, street noises, etc. can be pretty distracting. A student’s brain is more easily pulled away from their task by noises that are startling, uneven, or sudden, which is how background noise can be. So music can help muffle those sounds and help keep them focused. 


Music is also great for when students need to do repetitive tasks. It’s easy to get distracted when the work doesn’t change much - think typing up a written essay or cutting and pasting for a presentation. In this case, music might help your student stay on task by providing just enough extra stimulation that they don’t get bored and wander away. 


What type of music is best for studying?


Okay, so you are ready to try some music while studying. But hold on, not all music is created equal. Choose the wrong type of music and you might accidentally decrease your student’s focus! 🙅


Studies show things like reading comprehension decrease when stimulating music is playing, so make sure you choose the right type of music for your activity.


For most work, like homework or practising for maths exams, your student needs mellow music that doesn’t change too much. Classical music can be a good choice, but not all students like it! You can also try easy listening or some slower-paced favourites. Experiment with what works and then put those songs in a playlist for next time.


If your student is doing something more repetitive, then the issue is more likely to be boredom. It’s okay to play more fast-faced music for this kind of work. Music can also help when kids are doing chores around the house! 


🚀 Music or no music, sometimes your student needs a little extra support with their studying. Let a GoStudent tutor help! With flexible scheduling experts in a wide range of subjects, we have just the help you need. Book a trial lesson today!