BY CHRIS HOWARD
Whenever tests and exams come up many people wonder, “what is the best music for learning?”. Well, according to studies and my own personal experience the answer seems to be classical music and instrumental music.
I listed them both because I am specifically talking about music that has no vocals or lyrics to them. Thus, when I am referring to classical music I am talking about classical pieces that only use instruments and not things like opera.
But why those genres you ask? It is because classical and instrumental music have similar benefits. They can improve your mood, refresh your mind, can help you focus, they are not distracting and can you help in recalling information. Classical music specifically, is usually written at an ideal beat and rhythm, and it can reduce anxiety and lower your blood pressure, and activates more of your brain. Instrumental music on the other hand can suit the taste of more people. There are so many pros to using classical and instrumental music that it can’t hurt to try it out.
The benefits of listening to classical and instrumental music while learning
Studying and doing homework can become boring and tedious but thankfully listening to classical and instrumental music can improve your mood. There’s a research stating that these genres raise your dopamine levels. Dopamine activates the reward and pleasure centers in our brains. It is a very important factor in our behavior, cognition and motivation. Dopamine, when released, tells our brain that the action we performed was good and makes us feel good as a reward. It also constantly reminds us of that action in order to motivate us to do it again and trigger another dopamine release.
If listening to classical and instrumental music raises dopamine levels, then listening to them when studying or doing homework will create a link and cause your brain to associate them with rewards too. After that, you will be more motivated to study and do homework and you will feel better while doing it.
These two genres can also improve your productivity by refreshing your mind. No one can focus on a task for hours and hours without their efficiency dropping and this is because the brain starts ignoring stimuli when it remains constant for a long time. Eventually, your body becomes habituated. Therefore, when we are constantly focused on something such as studying, we start to lose the interest. Taking small breaks to listen to some classical/instrumental music can soothe your mind and reenergize it for the next round.
Focus is another thing that can be improved by listening to these genres. If you can study with music in the background, then having these genres playing can drown out unnecessary environmental noises and make you more responsive to information.
Classical/instrumental music is not as distracting as other genres. One of the reasons is the lack of lyrics. This is ideal for concentration as music with lyrics cause your brain to unknowingly multitask when you are doing activities that require reading and writing. This is because your brain is focusing on your task but also trying to compute what the lyrics in the music is saying. You end up using extra brain power when you do not need to.
Classical music also causes a reaction in our hearts. When listening to music our heart matches the beats of the music with our pulse. Since classical music has a steady rhythm, it has a calming effect on the body. All these factors lead to better concentration when studying and better absorption of information.
Another benefit of listening to classical music is that it activates both sides of the brain. The left side of the brain is known to be more geared towards logic, analyzing, and facts. The right side of the brain is known to be geared towards creativity and emotions. When both sides are used at the same time you end up maximizing your brain usage. This is because the areas responsible for memory, attention span, motor function and language are being activated at the same time.
Instrumental music has its own unique benefits as it suits the taste of more people. Not everyone likes to listen to classical music and even if you do, listening to it for hours can be quite challenging. None of the benefits of listening to classical music will apply to you if you dislike listening to it in the first place. Pushing yourself to listen to it might actually cause more problems as it ruins your mood, distracts you and makes you fidgety.
So, in conclusion, the best type of music to listen to when learning is classical and instrumental music. A lot of research agrees and supports this point.
If you are struggling to focus, you can buy some headphones to listen to these genres. If you don’t like classical music, you can listen to instrumental music covers instead. If you need a complete silence when learning, then you can just listen to music while taking a break. Either option will help you relax and focus, it will motivate you, and make you feel better.
Byline : Chris Howard is a Viral Content Reporter at MTV. He was previously reported for NME. You can contact Chris Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org