Studying with Music: Does it Really Matter?

By: Hannah Allred.

For the majority of my life, I have always had some type of music playing in the background while doing my homework. The genres always changed, shifting from either classical music, lo-fi, until all I was listening to was my favorite artist or album at the time. Everything was fine until I reached a point where I struggled to do my homework because I was distracted. The thing that was distracting me wasn’t my phone, it was my music. I loved the music so much that I was distracting myself with singing the words, dancing, or whatever. This is when I had to switch things up.

Nicky Davis, an instructor for the website, lists some of the reasons why listening to music when studying is detrimental to your efficiency while studying. She says that “students who listen to music with lyrics while completing reading or writing tasks tend to be less efficient and come away having absorbed less information” (Davis). When I took this into consideration, I realized that this was my problem. Listening to lyrics and thinking about the words made me distracted from the task at hand.

So what did I do?

I fixed it.

Now, I typically listen to music from foreign countries (typically Korean) so I don’t get distracted by English lyrics. Even then, when I do get distracted by any type of lyrics, I just listen to some sort of Lo-fi/Jazz/Classical genre to help me from being drawn away from the lyrics.

In order to get the best result from studying, you might have to switch your genre of music that you listen to while doing homework. Almost everyone on the internet recommends that people listen to either some type of classical music or instrumental. On YouTube, there are even thousands of videos that are just filled with studying music, to help you focus. Some people even suggest listening to background noise, like coffee shop sounds, waves on the beach, or even different frequencies that promote focus and healing.

What you listen to really just depends on your taste. I know several people who do listen to their favorite music, or music with lyrics who are able to study perfectly fine, while others struggle to stay focused because of their music.

So if you are constantly getting distracted from the music you listen to, try something different! Mix it up or check out a YouTube playlist. I personally have improved my studying just from changing my genres of music. Hopefully, this inspired you to try something new and maybe it will significantly improve your studying habits.

Davis, Nicky. “Is It Good to Listen to Music While Studying?”,,

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