Music While Working: It May Help Students

Christ's College University of Cambridge

Gwen Woods, CUB Writer

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     Many students listen to music any chance they can get throughout the day while doing school work or studying for a test. Some students said it can be distracting and can be hard to do other tasks if the music is too loud or has an upbeat tune. Many other students said they can accomplish pretty much any task while listening to music.

     “I listen to music because I feel like music connects to me in a way that no person around me can,”  junior Kyle Asberry said.

     Asberry is not the only student to feel this way, many other students feel that music helps them as well. Music can bring up good memories, emotions, past experiences.

     “It’s harder for me to do (basic school assignments) without listening to music, actually like I’m practically always blasting music,” junior Anne Holder said.

     The effects of listening to music while doing another task depends on the person and what they are trying to accomplish. Many individuals believe that listening to music can help you focus, while others believe that it can distract you.

     “If you are listening to music at the same time as a task: it depends on a bunch of factors, the person (and) task matters. An example of this is that usually listening to calm, quiet music while studying doesn’t interfere much with your cognitive skills,” research associate at the learning lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon, Dr. Jenny Mendoza said.  

     A fast high tempo beat can affect the way you act. Music can change our mood which then could help us accomplish a task and be energetic.

     According to the research by Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge listening to classical music helps your cognitive processing ability by 80% when completing a task.  When you listen to rock your ability to do a skill is at 75%, and when you’re in pure silence it’s at a 76% for cognitive processing.

     “My mood does improve while listening to music, it actually motivates me to accomplish something,” Asberry said.

     Different genres affect the body and mind different ways and could uplift your spirit and make you want to get motivated to achieve your goals.

     “I tend to listen to a lot of really fast things, it tends to get your heart going, and you just want to be loud as well, [my music] it isn’t always necessarily happy but it fuels you to do something like you gotta get it out of your system,” Holder said.

     Music helps students get in a good mood by moving your body but music can also become distracting if it’s too loud or upbeat

     If you plan to do homework or study for a test while you are listening to music you must “find the right balance,” Dr. Mendoza said.

     Being able to balance listening to music and attempting to perform a task while doing it can make you more likely to complete whatever it is you’re doing.

     “Research with children showed that performance after listening to music is best when the children have just heard music they like, and that the effect can lead to faster processing and greater creativity, not just better spatial skills,” researcher Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto said.

     Most people choose their music based on their mood, which can then help students to get more things accomplished.

     “I kinda listen to all kinda types of music it really just depends on my mood honestly,” Asberry said.

     Music can do something for people that other things can’t,  It can be inspirational, and help you complete the goals that you have.

     “As I’m doing homework or classwork music is a bit of a distraction but I do still end up getting my homework and school work done in the process,” Asberry said.