Studies show that around three quarters of all individuals listen to music when they’re learning or studying. But is this actually worthwhile or harmful? Does it create stress or diminish it? Too much stress can cause physiological health problems which include headaches, higher blood pressure levels, stomach maladies, and many other disorders. Music is actually an emotional medium that can bring about either negative or positive emotional or physical changes to the human body. Considering that stress can adversely have an impact on learning, the issue becomes “can music reduce the stress that studying might cause?” Or will in increase it?
Studies have shown that music has an effect on an individual’s mental state and levels of stress, whether it’s pop music, rock, country, or other. Music is sometimes used to assist recovery caused by health issues and can decrease a person’s heart rate and hypertension levels, causing a relaxing benefit. And so initially you might think that music will make learning less stressful, and be beneficial, which will improve the ability to learn when studying. This may or may not be the case and is dependent upon a number of factors.
The fact is, the more demanding the field of study, the more probable it will be that music interferes with the learning process. However, for subject areas that are considerably less difficult, music can frequently provide emotional arousal that provides a positive learning experience.
Whether music affects learning beneficially or not also varies according to the kind of music played as well as the character of the person that’s doing the studying. Music with a faster beat calls for more concentration, which in turn may increase heart rate and blood pressure. However, music with a slow tempo can slow the heart rate, which can result in a mental state that is far too relaxed for effective study.
Loud music can make it a lot more difficult to focus. But if it’s way too quiet an individual may put more effort into actually hearing the words of the song, which may also contribute to concentration challenges or problems. Preferably, the volume will be at a moderate level, not too loud and not too soft. Also, music in a major key is typically more happy and upbeat while music written in a minor key is in most cases more depressing. For learning or studying practices, you should listen to music that’s written in a major key at a medium tempo and moderate volume.
Words of the song are yet another aspect, and are usually the most distracting part of the music. If someone is trying to study while listening to the lyrics of the song at the same time, the very same regions of the brain are trying to process two specific things simultaneously. This can cause an increase in the amount of distraction a person feels when playing music they’ve heard many times before.
Another aspect concerns the person’s disposition, which is different for everyone. Introverts are better off with a lesser amount of stimulation while extroverts do better with a greater amount. Extroverts generally benefit from the additional stimulation that music provides while an introvert’s brain will be disrupted more easily.
As you have seen, there are many issues that will determine whether or not music is going to be harmful or beneficial when learning or studying. The application of music is an individual matter, and what’s great for one person might be extremely harmful for someone else.