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Studies show music helps students prepare to learn

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Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Listening to music can help you study, reduce stress and depression and give you a general feeling of well-being, according to experts.

However, one size does not fit all when it comes to music and studying.

"The music that might help one person study might drive another up the wall," said Cynthia Green Libby, a music professor. "It depends on the person and his or her personal relationship to various types of music."

Some students enjoy soft background music when studying.

"My favorite studying song is 'Lucky 13' by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn," said Zachary Gearon, a junior anthropology major. "There are no lyrics, and their style is mellow enough to keep me concentrated on studying but intricate enough to get my mind working."

Listening to music prior to studying increases memory and attention by increasing stimulation and positive moods, according to a 2010 study from the School of Psychology at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. The study found that listening to music while studying may actually serve as a distraction and negatively affect performance.

"I like to listen to 'Come Sail Away' by Styx right before I study but not always during because I often find myself singing," said Nicole Harshbarger, a second-year graduate student studying deaf education. "It's uplifting with a nice melody, which makes me happy and relaxes me so that I feel prepared to learn."

Other students, such as Lauren Veyrehen, prefer to study with no music.

"I don't like to listen to music while I'm studying because I get distracted and end up focusing on the music more than what I'm trying to study," said Veyrehen, a senior chemistry major who played bass, piano and alto saxophone in high school.

Libby said a trained musician will generally be distracted by music of any kind when trying to study because they have been trained to listen actively with their whole being: mind, body and spirit.

"Silence is the optimum environment for concentration," Libby said. "As a musician, I can attest to this."

The positive effects on studying that can come from music may be attributed to a mood-boost, according to the Pennsylvania State University research "Daily Music Listening Habits in College Students: Related Moods and Activities," published in Psychology and Education/An Interdisciplinary Journal in 2003. The study found that students reported more positive emotions after listening to music and their already positive emotions were intensified.

One size fits more when it comes to music positively affecting your physical health. Listening to music can reduce chronic pain by up to 21 percent and depression by up to 25 percent while increasing feelings of power, according to a press release from the Journal of Advanced Nursing in May 2006.

Libby, a certified harp therapy practitioner, said in a Missouri State press release in 2008 that documented studies reveal that 20 minutes of live harp music by a certified harp therapy practitioner can reduce pain and anxiety, elevate mood, increase a sense of well-being and spark pleasant memories.

"Ongoing studies have shown that stress reduction increases the release of endorphins, (which are) chemicals (that) promote healing and increase immunity," Libby said.

In the end, Libby said it depends on the person and their psychological and emotional associations with various types of music.

"This will help to determine the best environment for you and, hopefully, make you more courteous of the needs of others within earshot of your speaker system."

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  • Steven Blankenship posted at 6:51 am on Tue, Jan 27, 2015.

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    It is a grand news for those who love listening to music all the time. However, the students should also take part in creative activities along with doing studies, those who love to act should enroll in the acting courses offered at

  • daniell17 posted at 5:11 am on Mon, Jan 26, 2015.

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    Not only that the music helps them to prepare for the learning process, but it also relaxes them. Often students invest in audio gadgets, but if they decide to buy from the beginning a quality New World Pro Audio system, they won't have to spend too much on these gadgets.

  • Heather Whitley posted at 3:11 am on Wed, Jan 14, 2015.

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  • David Poteet posted at 6:43 am on Wed, Jan 7, 2015.

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    It really is an interesting finding, if music could help students learn better then they should consider listening to soothing music while studying. In fact students who have interest in music could also make a career in this field. There are many organizations which offer youth programs in Los Angeles, if you have considerable knowledge in the field of music, you can find good job opportunities here.

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    Music has many positive effects over a person's mood. There are children who adore music from an early age and their parents make them to attend the best music lessons in Centennial, CO to learn playing on an instrument or to improve their skills in this department. Some of them are really talented and have a real chance to have a great career in music.

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    This study wasn't needed because everybody knows that as longs as you have the right soundtrack, you can do things much better because music really affects how you feel inside and your relationship with what you are doing. If you visit you will see many alternative ways in which you can study much better.

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    Music can have many great implications in a human life. Some families buy used vertical pianos to teach their children how to play on this instrument. Someone said that if you know to play at the piano, you will know to play at many other instruments.

  • marvinvinn posted at 3:02 am on Mon, Oct 27, 2014.

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    This may be true only for a few students, because there are students who can not learn if they listen to the music. But a good music will definitely help all students to prepare to learn. Students can gather together to play music, a person can play the piano, another can play at Lakeland bass, another student at the harmonica and so on.

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    Also the materials from will help students to improve their spelling and reading issues. They need to know how to write a paper properly, not only to learn the exam materials by heart.

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  • rick posted at 7:58 am on Fri, May 10, 2013.

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    Very interesting. I always thought that but it was never proven. In fact I was going to build my research proposal and start a research on that. It's tough for me as a student to use all the resources necessary for a research like this but I would have been willing to try it.