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Is It Better to Listen to Music or Silence When Studying?

Music has both positive and negative effects during studying. In my opinion, the type of music you choose to listen to when studying will affect your rate of understanding. While we all have our favorite genres and musicians, it is beneficial to know when you can and cannot listen to your playlist.


The Mozart effect has been popularized over time, and as such, many students listen to music during their studies. However, these students do not listen to Mozart anymore, but instead prefer hip-hop, and pop that is more popular right now. In my opinion, some of the benefits of listening to music as you study include:

  • Background music is soothing and is helpful during long lectures. It also blocks out unpleasant noise thereby improving the study mood.
  • Music reduces stress and anxiety, and help you focus on your studies
  • Music inspires creativity in some cases.

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  • Unfortunately, listening to music when handling tasks that require language skills, such as reading literature or writing might interfere with your attention. You might find yourself writing what you are listening to.
  • Speedy and loud music is distracting, and mostly encourages you to dance or move around, instead of relaxing you into a studying mood.
  • If you have trouble multitasking, listening to music when you study, may provide more of a distraction than a solution.

In my opinion, the effects of music can either be positive or negative, and it is up to you to observe yourself. Know when the music distracts you, and when it provides comfort. Also, be choosy with the type of songs you listen to. If a particular genre helps you study, create a playlist, and keep it on low volume to give your brain enough space to focus on the primary task ahead.

Lastly, remember that we are all different. Some people enjoy music, while others do not. Others can study with noise around them, while others prefer total silence. Know yourself before choosing to listen to music while studying.

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