After summer, I’ve had to refocus my brain and “remember” how to study again. I know I’m not the only one who struggles in the first month to become focussed again and finds it hard to do homework. In addition to digging up my old studying tricks such as coffee and secluded place, I like to listen to music. However, sometimes music can help me to focus and other times it distracts me from my work. Sometimes mainstream pop music gets my ideas flowing and other times country does the trick. This idea got me thinking; which genre of music is the most conducive to studying and why?
As I started to search the internet, I came across this article which I found rather helpful. It describes a study that was conducted by Wake Forest that studied a small sample of 21 students. They had them listen to five songs, all from very diverse genres, and looked at their brain under a MRI scanner. When looking at the MRI, they looked for the person’s feelings towards the song which in turn would tell something about the default mode network, or DMN. The DMN is the part of the brain responsible for going back and forth between inner and outer thoughts. When this is active, you’re more focussed on internal feelings such as memories and imagination rather than the world around us. That being said, the findings concluded that people listening to preferred songs were more likely to zone out on internal thoughts and connections rather than when listening to unfamiliar music.
This result was unexpected to say the least because of the common “Mozart Effect.” The Mozart Effect is the idea that listening to Mozart will help strengthen your mind. However, it is more of a saying because if you love Rihanna, it could just be the “Rihanna Effect.” That being said, as I did more research on this study, it was concluded that the results were not only unexpected, but inconsistent. A lot of the information in that article was confusing to me because of the terms however, the conclusion set the record straight.
So, referring back to my original question…
I understand I didn’t identify the best genre of music for studying however, this is because there is not. If you prefer classical, then classical probably will not be conducive and you should listen to country. If you prefer country, then that will not be of help and maybe you should try classical. The takeaway is that you should try a new song or genre when studying because odds are you’ll be more focussed… it worked for me while writing this blog!