Music And Study: How To Focus Your Mind

Music and study how to focus your mind

If you are someone who struggles while studying, you may be pleased to know that music can help to steady your focus, ensuring that you become far more productive and proactive throughout your studies.

A large number of people have reported that listening to music helps to maintain their focus.

How Does Music Help You Concentrate?

How does music helps you concentrate

There are numerous benefits to listening to music while working and studying, as well as enhancing your focus.

Music has been proven to improve your mood, increase your levels of motivation, boost concentration levels, enhance your brain stimulation, and relieve fatigue.

However, it is also important to note that not everybody agrees on the fact that music improves your ability to study. Thus, it is important to consider that music doesn’t impact people in the same way.

Those who have reported that music helps to enhance their focus have stated that it mainly helps them in indirect ways. This is because music helps to reduce your stress levels, enhancing your overall mood.

The reduction of stress levels leads to a more positive and proactive mindset which inherently makes you more able to concentrate on your studies.

The research was conducted on 60 female volunteers who undertook a stress test while they were listening to certain genres of music.

The results of this study suggested that listening to relaxing music makes a vast difference to the psychological and physical responses of the individual, especially in regard to their hormone response when stressed.

Benefits Of Studying With Music

Benefits of studying music

Promoting a good mood enhances learning outcomes and brain development. Thus, you will have far more focus and less stress when studying when you are feeling positive.

Studying can be an intensely stressful process, especially when the subject matter is confusing.

Improved Mood

If you feel as though you are becoming overwhelmed, you should play some of your favorite relaxing music in order to work more efficiently.

Playing music while studying not only elevates your mood, but also increases your levels of motivation, boosts your ability to concentrate, enhances your memory, and helps you to manage fatigue.

I have outlined these benefits in more detail below.

Increased Motivation

Increase motivation

If you have ever dealt with an extensive study session or a long night of homework, you may feel as though your resolve to study has vacated long before you have finished your work.

Regardless of the fact that you have promised to reward yourself once the session has been completed, you may still feel entirely unmotivated when tackling your workload.

Research has proven that music activates the reward centers within the brain. Thus, rewarding yourself while you study provides the motivation required in order to absorb new information.

If you treat the music that you are listening to as a reward, you will be far more motivated to complete your studies.

If your music preference is not that great for studying (i.e. Heavy Metal), then you should consider listening to your favorite songs during a study break in order to motivate you to continue working thereafter.

Boost Concentration

Boost concentration

According to a study conducted in 2008, classical music can help your brain to absorb and process new information. The brain processes new information by separating it into smaller segments.

The researchers have evidence to suggest that listening to music while absorbing information causes your brain to engage in a way that focuses your attention.

Thus, if you are struggling to understand new information or material, then listening to music could enhance your attention to the point where you start to understand the nuances of what is being asked of you.

Music also enhances your ability to make better predictions as your reasoning skills are increased.

Improving your overall reasoning abilities may not help you to get answers on a page during exam season.

However, you will notice a drastic difference in the way that you approach these answers based on the knowledge that you have absorbed.

Improved Memory And Brain Stimulation

Listening to classical music helps you to memorize new information as well as process it. Findings have suggested that specific types of classical music can enhance memorization abilities within the brain.

Better Management Of Pain And Fatigue

Listening to music while working helps to stimulate the brain in a similar way to how exercise can stimulate the body. Thus, a cognitive workout using music is a great means of strengthening your memory capacities.

How Listening To Music Can Help

How listening to music can help you

Proven To Ease Student Stress

Listening to music while you are studying doesn’t mean that you are going to be more or less productive or proactive. However, as mentioned, some studies have stated that your brain capacity is enhanced by music to some degree.

Classical music, ambient electronica, jazz, lo-fi, instrumentals, and nature sounds work the best when you are studying intensely.

Listening to ambient sounds has been proven to ease students’ stress levels, ensuring that they are more productive in their overall output.

If you prefer to study while listening to music, you should have an awareness of what type of music works best is the best way to proceed.

You should keep the following tips in mind in order to ascertain the most helpful genre of music to play when studying or working.

1) Avoid music that contains lyrics. Listening to music that contains lyrics in your own language will undoubtedly prove to be more distracting than useful.

2) Choose slow, instrumental-style music. Research has focused on classical music and this genre has proven to be helpful in enhancing focus.

However, if you are not a fan of this genre, you should consider listening to ambient, space, or soft electronic music in order to enhance your level of attentiveness.

3) You should avoid listening to experimental or surprising forms of music when studying.

This is because any music that changes drastically can leave your brain confused about what to expect which inherently distracts you from your work.

4) Ensure that you keep the volume low. Your study music should remain at a background volume as music that is too loud will disrupt your train of thought.

5) You should try to stick to listening to songs that you do not have strong connections with, as listening to music that evokes an emotional response is likely to affect your ability to stay focused.

6) Try to stream music that is commercial-free where possible. This is because commercials cutting in and out can be incredibly distracting and derail your thought process.

Reduce Test Anxiety

Reduce test

Listening to music when studying for an examination has been proven to relieve test anxiety. This is because music activates the parts of the mind that absorb knowledge and new information.

Through association, your mind will associate specific test questions with the sense of calm that you experience when studying for the examination.

Therefore, if you are someone who gets incredibly anxious prior to your annual examinations, then listening to music can benefit your mental and physical health to a great degree.

This is worth bearing in mind if you are having panic attacks or any other anxiety-related symptom that you find debilitating.

Reducing test anxiety is imperative in ensuring that you remain in a positive and productive state of mind when sitting examinations.

If you become too stressed or overwhelmed during the studying process, your brain will be overrun with cortisol, causing you to lose sleep and be ill-prepared for your examination.

Thus, it is highly recommended that you listen to soothing, relaxing music in order to prepare you to the utmost.

Your nervous system will also be trained to remain calm when faced with similar questions and problems to solve within an examination environment.

You should see your studies as training for the real event. This is why focusing on practice questions is such a good method of studying.

If you can associate a specific song with a specific question, you are more likely to remember the answer as your brain will associate the question with a positive response.

The last thing that you want is for your mind to go blank during the examination itself.

Therefore, remaining present during your studies will ensure that you feel prepared enough to tackle whatever is thrown at you during the exam.

If your brain has experienced vast levels of stress prior to sitting the exam, you may be too tired to give your all when it really matters.

Improve Your Performance

Listening to music while studying has also been proven to enhance your overall performance as you will be induced into a more relaxed state of mind.

Which means that you will be more readily able to absorb an abundance of knowledge and information.

If you are aiming to get top marks in your exams, then you should definitely consider listening to music while you are studying. This is because the more relaxed you are, the more information you are likely to absorb.

Many people will take in information temporarily because their brain is not in a receptive state while they are studying.

This is where listening to music is at its most beneficial, as your brain is stimulated by the soundwaves of the music to a point where it can absorb new information more readily.

Your nervous system will also be more at ease inherently enabling you to navigate tough questions, giving your best and most productive answer.

It Can Motivate You

As mentioned, listening to music is highly motivational, especially if you choose to listen to epic music from motivational movie scenes.

While you should avoid listening to music that has personal significance to you, it can be helpful to listen to epic orchestral music when working as this will inherently motivate you to work harder, giving your utmost to the task at hand.

While it is generally advised that you avoid listening to music that you have a personal connection to, some people actually find listening to motivational music that is evocative actually helps them in their process.

This is because listening to music that you personally find to be motivating is undoubtedly going to increase your level of motivation to the point where you are less likely to give up on your studies halfway through.

However, listening to music that is too emotionally charged may have a negative impact on your studies, as you can become overwhelmed by emotions and unable to concentrate on the information that you are absorbing.

Thus, it is crucial that you strike the right balance when sourcing inspirational music to listen to while studying.

The good feelings that are evoked by listening to your favorite music are motivation in and of themselves.

This is because you are far more likely to commit to a study session when you are feeling positive as opposed to when you are trapped in a negative state of mind.

It Can Increase Focus

It can increase focus

Listening to music enhances your focus significantly, especially if you are using headphones or earphones.

This is because listening to music in headphones enables you to hone in on your studies without being distracted by external noise or interruptions.

When you are engrossed in a study-based playlist on Spotify, you will undoubtedly reap the rewards in regard to your overall output.

Listening to music activates the parts of your brain that are otherwise inactive to a degree.

You can also use earphones or headphones to drown out the noise of the outside world, ensuring that your attention is focused on your studies as opposed to your mobile phone or your family’s endeavors.

You should let those that you live with know when you are studying as this will prevent them from interrupting you during the course of your study session.

The last thing that you want is to have to remove your headphones continuously in order to be receptive to a conversation from others.

Thus, buying a pair of fool-proof headphones is a great way to keep your eyes on the prize and it also indicates to others that you are fully in your zone during your study session.

Using headphones is always advisable if you are studying in a student library, as these libraries can be a hotbed of distraction!

It Could Help You Memorize New Information

As previously mentioned, listening to music helps you to absorb and memorize information that you would otherwise overlook.

This is because music stimulates the brain, honing your focus on specificity far more than if you were not listening to music while studying.

Music accesses parts of the brain that are otherwise dormant, which inherently enhances your brain capacity, enabling you to absorb a plethora of new information while studying.

If you are feeling creative, you can always recite your newfound information to the beat of the music that you are listening to.

It has been proven that rhythm plays a key role in memory formation. Thus, you can choose to walk around your room, stepping to the rhythm and reciting the information on the page in front of you.

There is a good reason why children are taught new information via nursery rhymes when they first start school.

This is because you are far more likely to remember key information when you associate it with something rhythmic.

Irrespective of whether you are a good rapper or not, you can play around with rhymes to see if it helps you to remember specific information that you are studying.

Sound That Are Best For Studying

Sounds that are best for studying

You may be wondering which sounds are best for studying in regard to the genre of music that you are listening to.

Ambient sounds, nature sounds, and classical music are arguably the best sounds to listen to while studying.

This is because these sounds evoke a sense of ease in the listener that enables them to concentrate on their studies without becoming overstimulated or distracted by lyrics.

Classical Music

Classical music is great to listen to while studying. This is because it contains many symphonies that soothe the mind while you are concentrating.

Classical music does not contain any lyrics that would otherwise be a distraction to you.

Thus, if you are looking for the best genre of music to listen to while studying, you should definitely consider listening to classical music to stimulate your mind.

Many people believe that listening to classical music is one of the easiest ways to enter into a trance-like state.

This is because the vast majority of classical music is written in minor and major tones that are not intrusive in any way.

Your mind will still be stimulated by the music but it will be in a productive manner, as opposed to you becoming distracted by controversial or thought-provoking lyrics.

Ambient Sounds

Listening to ambient sounds like rainfall or the sound of the sea is a great way to place your mind in a productive yet meditative state.

If you are looking for sounds that enhance your level of attention and overall focus, then you should definitely visit YouTube in order to source a wide range of ambient sounds that will definitely place you in a calm state of mind.

Listening to ambient sounds ensures that you do not become distracted by anything within your external surroundings.

Your brain will become attuned to the ambiance as opposed to remaining hypervigilant and observant of the outside world.

Your focus will inherently be directed outwards which means that you do not remain in a state of anxiety while studying.

Anxiety is evoked by an inward focus that is associated with depression and PTSD. Those who are able to focus their attention in an outward direction tend to find that they are more able to cope with distressing situations.

If you find studying to be intensely dull or stressful, then you should consider listening to some ambient sounds in order to harness your focus and attention outwardly.

Ambient Electronica

If you are more of a fan of electronica, then you will be delighted to know that there is a wide range of ambient electronica sounds that you can listen to on Youtube and Soundcloud.

There are also specific playlists dedicated to Electronica on platforms like Spotify. However, you should try to listen to songs that do not contain any lyrics, as even a repetitive word or two can be highly distracting.

Electronica is a great genre of music to listen to while studying as it is both upbeat and stimulating.

Instrumentals

Listening to an instrumental is arguably the safest way to guarantee that you will not be distracted by your study music.

However, it is advisable to listen to instrumentals from songs that you do not know the lyrics to, or that have never contained any lyrics.

This is because you will be less likely to repeat lyrics to yourself and become distracted by a bout of karaoke during your studies!

Sourcing instrumentals is incredibly easy to do, you merely need to search ‘type beats’ or ‘instrumentals’ on YouTube and you will be given the option to choose from numerous instrumentals from a variety of genres.

It is preferable to avoid choosing beats that are hard and fast, as this will distract your brain and cause you to lose focus.

However, choosing Lo-Fi HipHop instrumentals is a great choice if you are looking for easy beats that do not contain any lyricism.

Jazz

While listening to jazz music may seem like a bold move during your studies, listening to softer forms of jazz can help to soothe your mind during your studies.

You should try to put on jazz records that do not have too many unpredictable twists and turns as these may distract you also.

Thus, choosing a more simplistic jazz record with sultry tones is definitely the wisest move if you want to listen to calming music while studying.

Lo-Fi

Listening to lo-fi music will help some people more than others.

This is because lo-fi music is hard to define in regard to genre, and thus if you put on a lo-fi playlist on Spotify, you are likely to listen to lo-fi HipHop that contains deep and introspective lyrics.

To avoid this, you should try to select lo-fi tracks that contain minimal lyrics. You will be able to source Lo-Fi playlists on platforms like Soundcloud, and these playlists do not tend to contain tracks that are plagued with lyrics.

Instead, you will be able to find Lo-Fi instrumentals that are guaranteed to soothe your senses as you study.

Nature Sounds

Alternatively, if you want to avoid music completely, you can indulge in the wonderful sound of nature. There are numerous natural sounds that evoke a sense of calm in the listener.

Irrespective of whether you are a fan of pulsating waterfalls, or you want to listen to the tapping of rain on a window pane, you will undoubtedly be able to find the natural sound to suit you.

Listening to natural sounds while studying has been proven to enhance your overall productivity immensely.

This is because your body is grounded by the natural world, and thus, your mind is placed into a state of utmost productivity.

Why Are Nature Sounds Great For Concentration?

Why nature sounds are great for concentration

The sounds produced by nature are brilliant for concentration as you are naturally induced into a trance-like state that soothes the mind.

In fact, natural sounds have been linked to relaxation and meditation practices for hundreds of years.

Once you place your focus on a pleasant, natural sound, you are far more likely to be in a relaxed state of mind which inherently promotes vitality and productivity.

The natural world is renowned for reducing stress levels for a good reason, and listening to the sounds of nature has also been proven to reduce your heart rate, further increasing your ability to work productively.

This one-hour relaxing rain sound video is guaranteed to reduce your heart rate and bring you to a relaxed state of mind that can productively handle the day’s tasks: https://youtu.be/oVClOP_HMZY.

When you are listening to natural sounds, the brain’s connectivity and focus are reflected outwardly. This is the opposite of listening to artificial sounds, which activate your brain’s connectivity in an inward-directed manner.

A focus that is directed inwards is related to anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Thus, listening to natural sounds evokes an outward focus that enhances your overall performance, attentiveness, and productivity by proxy.

Studies have also shown that there is an increase in rest-digest activity within the nervous system when listening to natural sounds as opposed to artificial ones.

This means that you will be better able to pay attention to tasks that require external monitoring.

The amount of change within the nervous system is also dependent on the baseline state of the person who is studying.

Those who have higher levels of stress will respond more positively to listening to natural sounds as this will have the most drastic and beneficial impact on their nervous system.

Therefore, if you are someone who is hypervigilant, listening to natural sounds will undoubtedly benefit you during your study process.

What Are Binaural Beats and Solfeggio Frequencies?

Binaural beats and solfeggio frequencies consist of certain frequencies of sound that are used to create health benefits.

For instance, binaural beats are renowned for changing brain waves in order to place you into a relaxed state of mind.

It is better to listen to binaural beats using headphones as this way, you are able to feel the difference in frequencies as the sound enters the left and right ear.

Binaural beats contain four different ranges including the following patterns:

  • Delta patterns that have a difference in frequency of between 0.1-4Hz. These are associated with inducing a dreamless sleep state.
  • Theta patterns range between 4-8Hz and are associated with meditation, creativity, and REM sleep.
  • Alpha patterns have a difference in frequency of 8-13Hz and are typically associated with states of relaxation.
  • Beta patterns have a lower frequency difference of 14-99 Hz and these are associated with cognition, arousal, alertness, and concentration.

In contrast, solfeggio frequencies refer to the specific tones that are induced in order to reap health benefits in the listener.

These frequencies are grounded in ancient religious practices and are often associated with the chants of monks and other religious practitioners. Solfeggio frequencies were refounded by Dr Joseph Puleo in 1974.

Dr Puleo utilized the Pythagorean method of reduction in order to decode the six frequencies that restore a sense of balance within our bodies, improving our overall mental state by proxy.

His later research described in detail the three additional frequencies that complement the overall solfeggio scale.

The cymatics of the solfeggio scale explains how sound waves relate to matter in order to create geometric shapes. Many people have stated that cymatics is a type of sacred geometry.

The cymatics of the solfeggio scale has been used for meditation, self-reflection and mindfulness practices for many years.

Focusing on the cymatics of this scale also showcases the effects the sound vibrations have on external objects like the human body.

Which Binaural Beats And Solfeggio Frequencies Are Best For Concentration?

Binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies

Binaural beats in the range of 13-30Hz are the best for concentration. This is because these beats are alpha patterns that are typically associated with states of relaxation.

As mentioned, entering into a relaxed state of mind is the best means of absorbing relevant information while you are studying.

Thus, listening to binaural beats with an alpha-based frequency is a great means of inducing the state of relaxation required to alleviate stress and produce the best work and/or facilitate a productive study session.

Summary

To conclude, music has been proven to enhance the focus of certain individuals.

If you want to improve your level of focus, you should consider making a classical music playlist and playing it on a low volume while you are studying.

If you want to know more about the health benefits of listening to music, then please visit the following link: Nature Sound Retreat. I hope that you have found this article to be informative. Thank you for reading.

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