Tuning into studying

No one melody fits when it comes to your learning

Julia Marques da Silva, InDepth editor

For many students at Branham, music is used to do many activities including sports, driving, and the most debatable, studying. With the music ranging within all types of genres it’s hard for students to pick the right type for focusing.

Music can activate the left and the right side of the human brain at the same time, which maximizes learning and improves memorization. But even with these known benefits, many are still unsure if music can maximize their learning capabilities.

A lot of students struggle with staying engaged with their school work. For some, like junior Faith Grandey, music can help with staying focused and engaged.

“I feel like I’m going to get bored if I’m just doing my homework,” said Grandey.

Similar to many others, music helps Grandey feel more focused while working. This benefits many students because humans have two attention systems: a conscious and an unconscious one. The conscious system enables the mind to concentrate and maintain focus on the task at hand; on the other hand, the unconscious attention system shifts the attention toward anything that is likely to distract us that our brain senses might be important.

Distractions could be anything from background noise to other people’s conversations around us. When students are trying to concentrate, this unconscious part of the human brain becomes especially more harmful during a study session. The unconscious part of people’s brains become more alert to background noises, ultimately leaving music to help with preventing these distractions.

A number of students also use music as a way to relax while studying. Freshman Daniela Guevara uses music to calm down while studying.

“It calms me down because I’m usually stressing out about whatever I’m studying for.” said Guevara

According to ULoop, music can regulate a listener’s mood and is able to lessen depression and anxiety levels. This benefits students greatly who struggle with depression or anxiety because stress can cause irregular sleeping habits, diet, and fatigue that will exacerbate their learning. If the music is positive then it should have a positive effect on people’s learning.

One of the main downsides of music is picking the right music to effectively study with. Small details about the genre like tempo, lyrics, and volume would harm a someone’s concentration. Dr. Masha Godkin reports that classical music would be the best music to listen to because of its it has the right tempo and volume. English teacher, Tobie Schweizer understands the importance of what type of music to listen to while focusing on a task. Personally, Schweizer can listen to music while completing tasks, but prefers piano music since lyrics can be distracting.

The main concern about music is the lyrics. Especially with activities with memorization and reading, lyrics is found to be very distracting with some implications of the student paying more attention to the lyrics rather than what they need to be working on.

But ultimately, studying with comes down to personal preferences and what specific activity the student is trying to do. Many studies don’t recommend music while students are attempting to memorize or read anything since the music will interrupt. However, music allows students to regulate their mood and done properly, it can be a beneficial tool for students to navigate schoolwork with.