Do You Listen to Music Whilst Studying?

By Demi Marshall

Many University students listen to music whilst studying. The choice in music among students reaches various genres and styles.

I wanted to investigate this further, and see what ways students find music whilst studying to be beneficial. I was also curious as to what genres students prefer while studying. To collect some of my own data, I created Instagram polls and conducted a few interviews with University students.

A 2013 study analysed pros and cons of studying with music. After having students take a variety of tests both with and without music, the study concludes:

“The use of music as a companion to studying was shown to be quite individualised.”

After analysing my Instagram poll results and interview responses, my data also reflects this conclusion. Results show a majority of students find music while studying to be beneficial for their concentration, but not all.

When conducting a poll on Instagram, followers first answered whether or not they listen to music while studying. For this question, 75% answer yes, while 25% answer no.

The majority of students who said they do listen to music answered another question, asking whether the type of music changes based on what homework they are doing. Responses to this question show 61% answer yes, and 39% answer no.

The participating students prefer listening to music while studying. However, this is not exclusively genres they typically listen to.

The final question on this poll asks whether students find they concentrate better listening to their favourite music, or a different genre. 47% say their favourite genre, while 53% say a different genre.

Music not only motivates these students, but as they tailor the style to what homework they are doing, find improvement in their concentration.

When interviewing some University students about music and their studying habits, both students prefer listening to music whilst studying. Ellie, age 21 studying Music Education, describes how the style of music changes depending what homework she’s doing, “It depends more on how long I’ve been working- once I get bored or tired, I have to turn on pump up music”.

Ellie notes that music is distracting for her while studying if it has lyrics, “I find that music with words makes it more difficult to study, so I mostly use instrumental music”. When asked the benefits of studying with music, Ellie finds music helps improve her focus, “It provides good background noise so that the back of my mind can focus on something and I don’t get as distracted by random thoughts”.

A student named Emily, age 21 studying Creative Writing, also provides some insight into her use of music while studying. Emily discusses how she concentrates listening to her favourite music, “My favourite music changes quite frequently depending on my mood…but when I’m doing email stuff and writing…then sometimes I’ll listen to my current favourite genre.”

Emily links the benefits of studying with music to the way she takes in information:

“I know that I am a very auditory learner and processor, so I need to have music playing to block out any other noises, voices, or music. I think putting in my headphones and playing my music has also become a part of my homework and studying routine.”

The students interviewed, as well as those who participated in the Instagram polls, give an idea of some benefits that studying with music provides.

Not only do a majority of students find it helps them concentrate, but many also agree that it is an important part of their study routine.

What artists do you listen to while studying? Leave a comment in box below! 

(Image from )

Categories:Music, University

1 reply »

  1. I used music while studying, doing research, reading said research, and writing papers and my dissertation for my masters degree. The genre that I used was generally Native American flute and drum and/ or instrumentals (eg. Yanni). My taste in music tends to be very eclectic and crosses over several genres The major exceptions would be hip hop and hard acid rock. But then that might have something to do with my being 75 years old!


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