How Does Music Affect Our Learning and Study Habits?

Music has a mystical power.

“Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?”

A single note or line in a song can bring us flashbacks of meaningful memories. It can give us goosebumps, it can make us smile, and it can make us experience a range of emotions.

We get caught in a landslide of escaping reality, and our brains light up, literally. It was previously believed that music was processed strictly in the right hemisphere of the brain, alongside other creative activities. But more recent research has shown that the entirety of the brain becomes active when listening to music.

Scientists have been studying the effects of music on the brain for decades, and there’s quite a range of opinions and information available.

The role of music in learning

You’ve probably heard of the “Mozart Effect”, the idea that people become smarter after listening to certain types of music, particularly Mozart or classical style music. The concept was introduced in the early 1990s and based on a study measuring children’s performance on spatial tasks after being exposed to Mozart.

While the study quickly gained national attention – so much so that the governor of Georgia in 1998 announced a state budget featuring funds to provide every child born in George with a tape or CD of classical music – it was soon debunked and disproved. Not to kill the kreshendo scholars, but Mozart’s work just may not be all it’s composed to be.

How does music’s impact on our mood help us study?

What is true is that music has the ability to put us in a positive mood and make a positive effect on our performance. It can improve our sleep quality, and can even help persons with dementia recall memories and emotions. These qualities make it a perfect companion while studying.

When applied in the right way, music has an incredible ability to affect us in powerful ways. But, on the flip side, the wrong type of music can actually hinder us. For instance, when’s the last time you heard of someone listening to metal while writing poetry?

Applied psychology researchers at the Cardiff Metropolitan University found that listening to music with lyrics actually resulted in lower learning abilities compared to music without lyrics. Another study between Dr. Emma Gray, a cognitive-behavioral therapist, and Spotify found that listening to music in the range of 50 to 80 beats per minute (BPM) can put us into a more focused and productive state, ideal for learning, creativity, and studying, while higher BPMs can distract us.

While scientists continue to explore the topic, one thing is certain: music is a shared universal language. From the highs to the lows, we all can appreciate the effect music has on us. Whether we’re at work, cooking a meal, sitting down to study or getting pumped up and ready for an exam, there’s music for everyone and every situation.

Because we at Pocket Prep love the power of music, we’ve created a handful of playlists via Spotify that help us get in the groove of work, study or preparation. We’ve got you covered from study-proof piano finds to vibin’ Lo-Fi and electronic.

Any way the wind blows, we think you’ll find something you like.

Check out Pocket Prep’s curated study playlists on Spotify

Piano Remixes: If you’re in a piano mood but can’t decide what to listen to, give our Piano playlist a listen. From a cover of The Pixie’s Where Is My Mind to Queen’s We Will Rock You, it has instantly familiar songs in piano form spanning multiple genres. Click here to listen directly on Spotify.

Electronic: If you’re more in an electronic mood, our Anodic Chill Vibes playlist is filled with a calming and fresh mix of electronic and downright good vibes. Click here to listen directly on Spotify.

Lo-Fi: Lastly, if you want something downtempo and laid back, sprinkled with some groovin’ piano vibes, we’ve got you covered with our Pocket Lo-Fi playlist. Click here to listen directly on Spotify.

Keep following for more study playlists.

We’ll be updating these playlists and providing many more. Feel free to give us a follow to be in the loop in the latest and greatest study playlists. If you’re ready to start studying now, check out our exams and see how we can help.

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