A lot of people on this blog have been talking about whether music helps one study better.
I used to listen to a lot of rap while doing homework during freshman year. The problem was, I ended up rapping to the lyrics, and never really knew what I was reading. To reaffirm my experience, Nick Perham, in a cognitive psychology blog, also talked about how it’s hard to really memorize what you are reading because the other notes and word in the song might confuse you.
So as I was researching I found a lot of article on studying with music. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? There are so many 3rd variables that go in between and that includes, the volume, rhythm, genre, and even how many words are in the song. There is also something known as the Mozart Effect, which talks about how if you listen to Mozart, you will be smarter. Many of the articles stated that listening to music before performing a task is actually really good because it relaxes you. These articles are all on the topic of whether music helps with studying.
Unfortunately, overall, we don’t really know whether its good or bad. At the end of the day it really depends on you. I summarized all this because I am more concerned with something else.
Like I said, I don’t listen to rap songs anymore, but what about rap instrumentals? Yes, they can get loud, and they do have intense beats, but they have no words. No word for me to get distracted too! I also feel like the intense beats get me hype, and more motivated to start working. If its instrumentals that I already know the song of, I will sing the lyrics in my head. So unknown instrumentals are better.
There are no articles talking about this, so I thought of an experiment.
It would be a blind placebo effect trial. I am going to have 20 students. To keep it all the same, each student will be in a study room, so there are no outside distractions. Then 10 students will be listening to rap instrumentals, just beats. In this case I would make sure they aren’t known songs, otherwise students will probably get distracted because they would be trying to rap along to the song. The other 10 wouldn’t be listening to anything, just silence. During the 30 minutes, they are going to read a passage and take a small 10 question quiz on it. The questions would be about details in the passage, maybe a few on comprehension.
The x-variable is the instrumental rap music. We are manipulating it by letting the 10 people listen to it, and not letting the other 10 listen to it.
The y-variable is how well they understood the information.
Then after I would see their results.
3rd variables in this experiment could probably be whether they even like the beats they were listening to. Another one could be how loud or quiet their music was. Now realizing everything, there could also be other things to look at. Maybe how fast they finished the quiz, and then maybe how fast they finished the quiz plus how well they did on it. There are many factors to look at.
What do you guys think? If you do listen to music while studying, have you tried listening to instrumentals? Have you tried listening to rap instrumentals?