|Listening to music while studying may help or hurt focus|
|Written by Hannah White, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 08 October 2012 11:27|
In a world full of multitasking, some people wonder whether music helps or hinders students as they study. A USA Today College article found that listening to music while studying can help keep students focused, but suggested they avoid music when working with language-based material.
Music has influenced many students daily, whether they listen while walking to class, working out or even in a music-based course.
With iPhones and iPods, students have the best of both worlds. They have the Internet and music all in one device, making it easier for them to multitask.
While music can alter one’s mood and feelings, it can also prove challenging when students work on language arts because lyrics affect the language parts of the brain.
It seems logical that if lyrics work the language parts of the brain harder, then trying to stay on task and focused while reading literature probably would not work.
However, the article also stated that listening to music complements your study habits better than getting on Facebook or Twitter.
But is it really just the way the brain is made, or do gender or daily smartphone use affect one’s multitasking skills as well?
A small survey conducted for this article, questioning an even number of male and female ISU students, found that none of the research about student focus abilities personally mattered to them. The survey found it is a personal preference and is based on an individual’s needs and habits.
The students agreed that it depends on the person, and music is still either a helping hand or a major distraction.
The students have to decide whether they fit into the music or no music category, and if the work they need to do is suitable for listening to music.
“I usually don’t have anything on when I’m studying. I actually do find it more distracting when I’m trying to concentrate or focus more on a new concept. However, when I’m just looking over some things or reviewing, I turn some music on just because it helps me stay engaged when doing the simple stuff,” Ryan Mortenson, junior accounting major, said.
Research has found that students can still listen to music while studying without interrupting the learning process, but suggests changing the music to something less stimulating will be the most beneficial.
“I almost always study with music. I even have a playlist; I find it easier as long as I’m listening to specific music. Not like Top 40s or catchy stuff. I need it to be subtle, or I will get distracted,” Chelsea Gulbransen, junior theatre major, said.
Just because calming music boosts the brain’s learning does not mean the genre has to be limited to classical selections. All types of music can boost the studying process.
Look for an acoustic version of the song or venture into new music genres.
There are many choices out there, but if you are having trouble finding relaxing music, YouTube or Pandora can be a great source. Though research has not found that calming music will individuals smarter, it can aid in the process of studying.
And while music with lyrics may interrupt the learning process, if students can rap with Wiz Khalifa without missing a word, more power to them.