There probably isn’t any person out there who doesn’t love listening to music. Accompanied by some head-bopping, hand-clapping and feet-tapping, your body can’t help but just go with the rhythm and enjoy the feeling music gives you. The youth of today has acquired the habit of listening to music when studying whether it’s via earphones/headphones or speakers. Students can be seen in study spaces and cafes with their eyes focused on their academic task while enjoying their favorite music genres. But why accompany studying with music? Does music i help students’ learning?

A research conducted by Susan Hallam, John Price and Georgia Katsurou from the University of London  studied the relationship between listening to music and studying or concentration in general. While the research said that studying in a quiet environment is still the most conducive for productivity, background noises like murmuring, sneezing, vehicle noises, movements, etc. can rarely be taken out of the picture.The research gathered a group of students who were subjected to an environment with background music and another group was subjected to background noise or aggressive music. Results have shown that the students who were subjected in an environment with background music performed better in the arithmetic and memory tasks given to them than those who were only subjected to aggressive background music. Rather than affecting the students’ cognition directly, the researchers found that it affected their arousal and mood more. It was found that the best background music genre to listen to under a certain criteria (style, volume, rhythm and ‘state’ of the music) was classical music although there hasn’t been a study made to validate this claim.

It is important to remember that different people have different learning styles as well. Some prefer to listen to music and some do not for various reasons. What can be taken from the research conducted is that students have the freedom or the capability to create a good studying environment for themselves. Students have been trained in their ability to cope and make the best of the environment they are in to complete the tasks given to them.



Hallam, S. Price, J., & Katsarou, G. (2002). The effects of background music on primary school pupils’ task performance. Educational Studies, 28 (2), 111-122.

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