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Director Of Studies News - Week 2, Term 4 2019

Posted 24th October 2019
By mandy eggins

1 P7 A8904

Listening to music while you study

I recently came across this article and thought I might share.

Having raised this topic with students more often that I care to remember, I was interested to know whether 'recent research' had revealed any new insights. By the way, apparently Beethoven’s music doesn’t make you smarter after all – read on.

There are two reasons commonly given by students who want to listen music while studying:

Reason number 1: It puts me in a better mood for studying

What the researchers say:
It would be rare to listen to music that you don’t like. Listening to favourite artists combined with having freedom to choose will help put you in a better frame of mind. Being in a better mood will help you stick at challenging tasks and to try a little harder, especially if study or assignment work tends to have the opposite effect.

Reason number 2: It stops me from getting distracted

What the researchers say:
Your brain uses working memory when you are studying. Having music in the background tends to use up some of the available working memory – especially if the music has lyrics, has a fast rhythm or if it is loud.

This distraction is worse for introverted people than for extroverts. What is the difference?


It may be helpful to listen to music while studying if:

  • It puts you in a good mood
  • It has a fairly slow rhythm and is not too loud
  • It doesn’t have many words (hip hop and rap are the worst)
  • If you are not an introverted person
  • If you don’t spend half of your time choosing your music or planning your play list – this is not mentioned in the article, but it should be!

Read the article here

Semester Two Exam timetables

Coming up in Weeks 4, 5 and 6 here are this term’s examination timetables:

Year 8 exam timetable

Year 9/10 exam timetable

Next time: what does the research say about dealing with exam stress?

You might like to read ahead here

Peter Freeman
Director of Studies

The Life

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