Music for Studying – What Science Tells Us

The line of scientific research on music for studying and music for concentration is very rich and dense with research, especially from the 90s to today. Despite this, many studies, if observed superficially, contradict each other: some speak of miraculous effects on the study, and others instead tell us that music does not really change our way of studying.

I have selected some studies to describe different effects. But remember the human brain and the influences that come from outside are too variable and the level of current studies is still far from being able to fully understand it.

For this, try on yourself all the advice you will find in the article, it is a very subjective topic. Yep, you can decide to yourself “I’ll write my college paper” and follow along with the experiments below to see what works best for yourself.

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Music to Focus: Does Music Really Make Us Focus More?

The first result I would like to tell you about came from the study by Rong-Hwa Huanga and Yi-Nuo Shihb of the Business Administration Department of the Taiwan College dedicated to investigating whether music can affect concentration while working.

In the hypotheses, we tried to understand first of all if music can influence behavior and concentration and, secondly if the music we love or hate has different influences from the music that we find to be “neutral”.

Well, the 89 participants of the research were subjected to some attention tests and, after being divided into 4 groups (one without music and 3 with different musical genres) it was observed that those who worked in total silence obtained the best results in the test; the other groups performed slightly worse but without substantial differences between genders.

If the genres of music did not change the level of attention, the scholars realized that there was another variable that negatively influenced the results.

The researchers asked people to indicate their degree of liking for the songs they heard on a scale of 1 to 5.

Those who liked or “disgusted” the songs the most were the ones who had the worst results.

What Does This Study Show Us?

That studying and working in complete silence brings greater benefits, but if there is background music, the one that gives the best results is the one that appears to be “neutral”, beyond the genre listened to. Yep, elevator music can boost your writing or the writing of people who are providing paper help.

And I find myself confirming this indication because, as a Jazz lover, if I listen to Jazz music by authors I know, I am captivated by the notes of their improvisations and I am more distracted by the task I am performing.

This is not the only study to have found that silence is better than any type of noise.

Studying with Music: Worse than Silence, Better Than Background Noise

In 2002 research carried out in a school with 10–12-year-old children, it was shown that comprehension and memorization tasks reach their highest level in completely silent environments instead of noisy ones (whether it is background noise or music).

On the other hand, environments such as university classrooms, libraries, one’s home, and bars with many people inside generally have a high level of background noise.

In the 2011 study by Stacey Dobbs, Adrian Furnham, and Alastair McClelland, published in the prestigious scientific journal “Applied Cognitive Psychology”, it was shown that this background noise is what leads to being less concentrated and consequently less productive.

This is why music is used to study background sounds such as wind, rain or classic white noises to isolate oneself and increase concentration.

A curiosity: the same study highlights that music has different effects on introverted and extroverted subjects.

  • Introverted people: although introverted subjects tend to withdraw into themselves, isolate themselves, and have fewer social relationships, research shows that music, and other environmental noises, worsen their study and learning performance on them;
  • Extroverted people: on the contrary, extroverted people are better able to “tolerate” external noise, especially when it comes to music, and, precisely for this reason, music would help them to concentrate better.

Music to Study

Summary: Music to Study, the Final Thoughts

Okay, I admit it, I got caught up in my scientific side and maybe the article may have complex results, just like choosing different professionals at, you seem to always get differing results.

For this I wanted to summarize below when you have benefits in studying music:

  • Silence VS Music: some studies have shown us that total silence allows us to perform cognitive tasks in the best possible way. But can we really achieve total silence?
  • Background noise VS Music: well, if we study in noisy environments, we absolutely must have music playlists to concentrate on, you will notice how your focus will increase dramatically;
  • Introverts VS Extroverts: It seems like a minor thing yet science has shown that introverts can’t stand studio music, unlike extroverts. What is your experience with this?
  • Love/hate VS no feelings: the music that helps to study should be neutral and relaxing, ban the songs we love or the ones we really hate. In both cases, our brains will focus on the songs rather than the study;
  • Musical genres: try to prefer relaxing songs to study instead of rock, dance, and rhythmic music;
  • Songs with lyrics VS Songs without singing: finally, you prefer music to study without singing, as we have seen our working memory will be heavily affected.

So, What Is the Right Music for Studying?

You should create a playlist with relaxing songs, without lyrics, of classical (light) or electronic (light) / chillout music and… please don’t choose songs you love or even reading an article on academic writing won’t help your efficiency – 7 Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Winning Paper.


Barbara Miller is so good that she normally has 4-6 orders to choose from on a daily basis. Constantly in high demand, Mrs. Miller, nevertheless, does everything that is in her power to make every customer satisfied with the service. “Perhaps the best writer I’ve ever had, top work…” – we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! It’s our great honor to have Barbar on the team and it’s our goal to make her stay with Master Papers for as long as possible.

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