Does Listening to Music Improve Your Memory?

I’ve always had a passion for music. It is something I wish to pursue, though I am not a usic major, and I could not imagen a life wihtout it. One time when I was in about the 6th grade, I had a major history exam approaching. I remember being very nervous, because I, like most people, enjoy getting good grades. However, this test consisted of an extraneous amount of memorizing people, dates, and other various historical events. I spent a lot of time studying, and being attentive in class, but I could not seem to retain the information from class, or the textbooks. Then one day, I had an idea. My friends and I decided to write a song, consisting of all the important historic details from the chapters we were studying. Sure enough, after hours of writing and rhyming, we had the perfect song. Now you might be wondering what this has to do with anything, but that’s what these blog posts are for. You see thinking about this story, I began to wonder if music can improve my memory? Being a college student, the majority of my time seems to be spent studying, and preparing for my classes, and I am somebody who loves to listen to music while I work. Whether it be Mozart, Indie, or alternative rock, I always have something playing in the background. Now I also grew up with seven siblings, so I a very accustomed to noise, but I am still curious whether or not music really does improve my memory,and if I should continue to enjoy the music, or learn to work in silence.
According to this article  located on psychology the answer to this question varies form person to person. They held a study where 73 people, all roughly around the age of 27, were selected to listen to 14 different types of music. They then were told to pick three songs they found pleasurable and three songs that they found neutral to them. Now according to the article, there was a fairly even distribution of people who had musical talent, and those who did not. Then they had the participants listen to the different groups of music, while attempting to memorize 54 different Japanese symbols. In the end they discovered that for those who had a musical background, pleasurable music was better while testing, but it was harder for them to learn while listening to music the truly enjoyed. FOr those who were not musically trained, they found it easier to learn with pleasurable music. The author of the article thinks that this could be due to the analytical process that goes on inside the brain of someone who understands music. They believed that if you don’t have any musical training, you aren’t playing close enough attention to the music for it to be distracting.

Now I am not sure if I agree with this. I have a very strong musical background, and I do from time to time analyze the music that comes on my playlists, however I do not find it distracting. I personally find that when I study with music, I am able to drown out any excessive outside noise, and focus solely on the work that I am trying to accomplish. I also think that music motivates me to work harder, depending on the genre and my mood.


Picture found HERE


Image found HERE

HERE is a link to a video with more information on this topic and whether or not we should be listening to music while we study. If you are looking for some suggestions for study tips regarding music, I suggest you check it out.
What do you think is the correct answer, and what works for you?

One thought on “Does Listening to Music Improve Your Memory?

  1. Jordan Smith

    I don’t know why but it seems to depend on the day whether or not I can listen to music and study. Sometimes music helps me concentrate while I study, but other times it distracts me and I have to turn it off. Again, I’m not sure why this happens but just randomly the effectiveness of music while studying.

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