Can Certain Types of Music Enhance Your Academic Skills?

When work time is handed to us, most of us don’t know what to do with it. Some of us get right on with our tasks as our keyboards click away, paragraphs after paragraphs, but for others, it’s difficult to figure out where to even start. For some of us, all we need is that one song to let us unwind and then, we find that that’s all we need – music while we work. I am one of those people, but it’s safe to say, I’m not the only one.

When I started growing into my pre-teen years, I started to notice a lot of things differently in movies. Other than just the upbeat music and talking dinosaurs, I connected some of the dots to my own life. Here’s a dot for you. Why do most Hollywood movies, especially melodramatic teen dramas, always have the typical plot being a new student who is so mysteriously troubling, yet always is able to get on with his or her life as soon as he or she puts on headphones? Now to connect that to the real world. In my opinion, you don’t have to be paid millions of dollars to be in front of a camera to relate to this. I’m a typical middle school student and I personally relate to this stereotypical plot whenever I’m assigned a project.

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Music always comes along and acts as some kind of performance-enhancing drug. The point is, music helps me better strengthen my academic skills. There has been research that music allows you to focus better. It has been proven that listening to music releases dopamine, a pleasurable experience where an individual relaxes him or herself, which is particularly valuable for when you need to calm down before a big assignment (Baker). But you know what would be even more effective? Picking the right kind of music. Of course, it varies within students, however, extensive research has proven that instrumental or classical music helps more with learning than songs with lyrics do.

Mozart and Bach’s pieces are more soft and calming which can assist students more so if they are in their revision phase for their work (“Does music help”). When you are using your brain to do language subjects such as reading or writing, then music with lyrics will be especially problematic (Do). Ambient or chill electronic music also help ease the mind and enhances concentration. Consider the tempo as well, though, as 60-70 beats per minute type songs apparently do help students study for a more lengthy period of time, and bonus points (“Can Music Help”). It helps you collect more information, so wouldn’t it be helpful would it be to listen to Fur Elise as you do your research paper? An experiment was conducted by Springer Science and Business Media used 56 college students (15 males, 41 females). After being exposed to a stressor, some listened to heavy metal and some classical.

The results showed that self-selected relaxing/classical music greatly reduced the negative emotional states compared to heavy metal or silence after the stressor (Labbe). Even if you don’t listen to music as you work, you must admit, these results mean that the music is doing something positive to students’ minds. Maybe you don’t agree with the fact that it positively impacts our brains, but think about this, you can’t possibly disagree that one of the most universal feelings that students tend to bear in almost every subject at some point in their lives is stress, a mix of anxiety and anger (Smith). According to one Springer Science graph from an external experiment, anxious students after listening to classical music had dropped their state of anxiety by about 10% (Labbe). That means less stress. Yep, you heard right.

Less stress. Other than decreasing stress, music can also help people with memorization. Factors as to why may include the beat and the rhyming patterns in the song which helps students memorize their own studies (“Student’s thoughts on”). However, music types vary between personality types, such as introverts and extroverts so the types of music may not be the same for everyone. For example, it has been proven that extroverts do better on tests than introverts (Baker). Of course, as it has been repeated multiple times in this paper, the types of music and the improvement it offers is different for everyone, but there has been data which scientists and learners have conducted with the result being that music can definitely help you become a better scholar.

And I stand by that statement. The way I see it is we are all just Hollywood actors and actresses taking on the role of some main characters and we are all a little stuck with some homework. But well, it always feels like life is okay again whenever we turn on some music.