Should you listen to songs when studying?

Have you asked yourself if studying with music is of benefit to the overall studying process? Do you find yourself wearing your earplugs because every other person does the same? Do you think you could be more effective with/without the music playing in the background? Well, the good news is that you are not alone.

Over the years, there have been differing viewpoints as to whether listening to music while reading makes reading effective or not. With several kinds of research made, a common ground has been established. Keep reading to find out.

While a handful of students detest the use of music while studying, so many find it stimulating and as such, they use it a lot. It's not unexpected to walk into a reading room and find students with earplugs and books before them, probably nodding to the rhythm of the music with their pens inscribing things they are studying. 

In this article, we will be examining the pros and cons of reading and listening to music. 

How does music help in studying?

How does music help in studying

Music has come a long way in human history and it's well-known for the soothing effect it produces. It is an integral part of human lifestyle and as such, it has been ingrained into every aspect of our lives— reading inclusively. 

Below are some of the reasons you should study with music:

1. Music lowers your stress level and improves your mood

After a busy day running around the school and lectures and all, it's not unexpected to be exhausted. Settling down to study feels like a hard but compelling thing to do.

Reading with music in the background is a way to escape from this tiring state as the music triggers the brain to release the dopamine hormone which helps deplete the stress level and improve your mood. With a good mood, your reading performance is much better and assimilation becomes easier.

2. It helps increase motivation

No doubt, studying is a mentally strenuous task therefore it requires motivation to keep pushing. Listening to music while studying can help push your long reading from monotonous to efficient. 

3. It helps increase cognitive performance 

At the core of its essence, music helps increase brain functions and cognitive performance which is needed for good comprehension. A study proved this when people got tasks that require them to read and then recall short lists of words. Those who were listening to classical music outperformed those who worked in silence. 

Music increases your creativity; this could be a bit push your brain needs for a successful study session.

The Downside Of Listening To Music While Reading

As good as listening to music while reading may be, it could cause distraction which would intermittently disturb your reading session. The extent of this distraction depends on the genre and the overwhelming lyrics of the music you are playing in the background. Songs with heavy beats and instrumentals are a good source of distraction and a No when it comes to studying as they will compromise the essence of studying originally.

Songs with overwhelming lyrics too are far from it when it comes to studying because they cause distraction. The brain tries to interpret them which causes a constant switch between studying and music as our brains can't multitask.


Listening to music while studying depends solely on the individual, the choice of music, and the purpose of studying. If you're studying to memorize, you should study without music. 

Also, as much as it can improve your mood and help you feel motivated to get tasks done, music is not always a study tool as it causes distraction.

As different stroke works for different folks, if you find music very helpful while studying, you should maximize it. If it serves as a distraction, you may consider studying without it.

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