Can Listening to Music Help You Study?

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Chances are, most, if not all, have done it at one time or another. You’ve sat down to study for an exam, or write a paper, or work on a project, but before you do, you stick in the ear buds and head to a music playlist on your phone or MP3 player. You figure, it’s probably a major distraction from the task at hand – pursuing your health care degree – but it’s pleasurable and relaxes you. Simply put, it takes the sting out of an activity you probably find laborious.

Thing is, it might not be detrimental at all. Recent research has shown that listening to your favorite music actually might enhance a study session and retention of material. In fact, it can be beneficial to you, both emotionally and even physically, in many ways.

Chemical reactions

According to a recent study conducted at a major medical institution in New Delhi … listening to music stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain. It’s similar to the way your brain reacts to the sight of delicious food or anything that looks or sounds interesting.

When a person listens to calm, relaxing music, more blood flows to blood vessels and the nerve endings, which release dopamine. Good music relaxes and opens up the endothelium of blood vessels.

This is beneficial to the heart. But the benefits don’t just stop at that organ. The studies showed that music makes the brain learn better.

Different tunes lead to different reactions

It’s been shown that blues music can calm nerves and slow the heart rate, while rock and punk boosts your mood and gives adrenaline and energy boosts.

Reggae has been found to actually help with anger issues. It is also believed this genre calms the heart and brings it to a healthy rate. Classical music is played to steady the breath, uplift the mood and can calm you down. This has a beneficial effect on the brain and helps coordinate left and right brain activity.

Cautionary tales when studying for a health care degree

Other studies have shown, however, that it’s often important to gauge your circumstances or work environment before cranking up the volume.

Tom Popomaronis, a columnist with Inc.com, advises turning the music off while learning. Listening to music while learning forces the brain to multitask, he said, causing the brain to interpret instructions/facts improperly. It’s probably also best to not listen to new music while studying as the brain might be drawn more to focus on that as opposed to the health care degree material you’re supposed to be studying.

Still, putting on the headphones can be beneficial if you’re already studying in a noisy place. It can drown out the distractions, but it’s best to play music that’s familiar and draws less focus away from the task at hand.

Also, various studies have indicated that, in general, people who listened to music while they worked on repetitive tasks performed better and made fewer errors.

So, whether studying for a health care degree at Concorde or anyplace else, listening to music while studying is much like anything else … it depends on the circumstances.

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