Music is an indispensable part of our life and you will hardly meet a person who doesn’t like listening to it. Of course, it can be a music of different genres, with or without lyrics, modern or classical, but people enjoy listening to music and can combine a variety of activities with it.
Young generations are also fans of music and every second student has always his headphones. Students listen to music everywhere: on-the-go, in public transport, in the shower and even when they do their homework. However, the last habit is quite controversial as scientists have different opinions about the effect music produces on studying. Let’s analyze the viewpoints of different scholars and decide whether pros or cons of listening to music while you do your homework will outweigh.
How can music be beneficial?
It is not surprising to see different studies about the influence of music on learning and their results are sometimes opposite to each other. Some scientists claim that music can influence the brain work positively as well as provide a learner with some huge advantages including:
- Improvement in attention, memory and the brain workElana Goodwin, a representative of the University of Wales, makes a conclusion in her study that music improves memory, attention, can have a beneficial impact on math solutions and even eases the depression and anxiety.However, the results of the experiment on the topic how music affects test scores are quite controversial, as the average test score of students who listened to the music during the test were lower and with great variations. As a result, researchers made a conclusion that only some people will feel a positive effect of music while the others will consider it a distraction. At the same time, there is no explanation about the influence of genres, tempo, style of music so additional research is a necessity.
One more interesting viewpoint is offered by Don Campbell in his book “The Mozart Effect”. He points out that music improves performance and productivity by reducing stress, tension and hiding irritating sounds in the workplace. The same can be said about studying that can also be influenced by noise or any stressful situations.Anne Blood, a neuroscientist at Montreal McGill University confirms the fact that depending on the style of music you prefer, you can activate different brain parts.
- Useful for creative and reflection activitiesThe study done at John Hopkin’s University confirms the viewpoint that music can be a great boost in writing, brainstorming, project work, problem-solving activities. It can improve productivity as well as be a perfect solution for several minutes of rest to recharge for the next activity.
- Instrumental music is a miracleWho has not heard about a genius pianist Mozart? But not everyone is aware of the psychological term known as “the Mozart’s Effect”. Classical music has always regarded to be something mysterious and even today many studies confirm the unbelievable benefit from listening to it. No wonder that many mothers switch on the classical music to their infants as there is a proof that it makes a positive impact on mental development. We can see that in books, textbooks in child psychology, studies of Stanford University, California where a beneficial impact of music was checked on animals and conclusions of University of California, Irvine, that mention improvements in various activities including even IQ test results.
Negative impact of music on doing homework
At the same time, many students still call music a distraction. Why does it happen? The answer is simple, students speak about absolutely different styles of music.
It goes without saying that listening to the song with words you will be more likely to distract from studying by repeating the words of the singer. This fact was confirmed by the University of Phoenix where researchers have proved that lyrics activates language-processing centers of the brain and that results in a lack of concentration and difficulties to recall the memorized information.
The last fact was described in the book “Educational Psychology”. Context-dependent learning means that people will recall information better in the same environment how they were memorizing it. If it was a music background at home, there are few chances that this background will be at school too, so information recalling will suffer greatly as well.
One more apparent point is a huge difference in people’s learning styles. Some people will have a much better productivity studying in silence, the others chewing a burger and one more group watching a TV. Music can be beneficial only to some of the students as any sound can affect the performance of others negatively. Consequently, it is impossible to make the only right conclusion about the ultimate benefit or the toughest negative impact of music on student’s performance of the home assignment. The only conclusion is apparent: everything depends on the person and his study environment.
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Also published on Medium.