Studies suggest certain music can boost productivity

By buzz Staff

For many, gearing up for finals may require a lot of preparation. A good study session can require a lot of material — from a strong cup of iced coffee to a variety of colored highlighters to, of course, a killer study playlist. Though a study necessity for many, music hasn’t always received the greatest reputation among some teachers and others who might see it as a distraction rather than a motivator for effective studying.

Whether or not listening to music during a study session increases or hinders studying isn’t always an objective question. Studies have shown that the choice of music can often affect how focused someone is on the material. For example, a 2014 study showed that learning in silence versus with music increased exam scores by 60%, but the researchers in that study chose heavy metal, which, for many, might be distracting outside of studying.

Studies have also found that music can be stress relieving, help with productivity and even boost performance on memory and processing tasks (though it’s important to note that in the latter study, researchers used classical music specifically, so there isn’t a guarantee that the same effects would show when listening to another genre like indie-pop or jazz, two common genres of study music for many college students).

But for those who prefer to listen to a genre other than classical music, experts suggest a few tips for the best types of music to listen to while studying. Some of those tips includes listening to music without lyrics, slower instrumental music and songs you don’t really have strong feelings about so they can’t distract you. But since everyone has his or her own taste and preferences, this isn’t always the most realistic type of music to listen to for all students.

To help students who might be looking for some study music to increase productivity while studying, buzz carefully crafted a finals study playlist that includes many slower, instrumental songs, as well as a few with lyrics that fit more in the indie-pop genre. Because several different people contributed to this playlist, a few songs are bound to be foreign to listeners, which might decrease the chance that the music will distract them.

To listen to buzz’s Fall 2021 Finals Study Playlist, visit buzzmagcu on Spotify.

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