Tune in to Studying

Senior+Jaiden+McClellan+studying+hard+after+school+while+listening+to+music

Virginia Larner

Senior Jaiden McClellan studying hard after school while listening to music

As students get back into their rhythms, they are starting to rediscover their study techniques. A common manner of study is to listen to music while they work on homework or study. But is this method actually viable?

A study done by neuroscience professor William Klemm, Ph.D., on the “Mozart Effect” produced examples that, “music people considered pleasurable increased the release of dopamine (the “feel good” neurotransmitter) in the brain. Dopamine promotes learning to approach rewards, while a deficiency of dopamine promotes learning of punishments” (Psychology Today).

Studies like these show that students who systematically listen to music as part of their study regimen tend to recall their study materials better. This is because they associate those materials with the success of a good test grade or a reward of sorts.

Students may take that information and plead with their teachers that they need to listen to music as they are unable to study quietly. But that decision is all up to their teachers, who ultimately have the power to decide whether music is a distraction or a tool in their classrooms.

“I think it’s a double edged sword, because for some students, it’s a good opportunity to help them focus,” math teacher Mr. Doebler said. “But for other students, I think it’s a distraction. I think it’s very individualized in that regard to students willing to drown out distractions and focus is great, but if they just use it as another tool to kind of distract themselves, it turns out not to be so helpful.”

When teachers around campus prohibit their students to listen to music in their classes, students turn to the library to listen to their music and study while in a quiet environment.

“It’s easier to work in a library,” senior Kyle Kneefel said. “Listening to music in the library definitely helps me. I put my earbuds in, and I feel like I get more work done. Not only am I less likely to be distracted by talking to others, it kind of lets me hone in on my work.”

At times like break and lunch, the library becomes a center of chaos for students to speak with each other at whatever volume they please, so having music as a way out of that chaos helps students get their work done.

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Courtesy of Virginia Larner