Take a look around the local library or McDonalds. It is difficult not to notice that the majority of students are putting their headphones on while doing homework. But is it really beneficial?
On the one hand, listening to music is a cognitive action that decreases your concentration towards another task such as homework. On the other hand, your favorite music whether it is to be Mozart, Bach or Eminem will raise dopamine level making studying much more enjoyable almost as if you are on cocaine. The theory goes that music creates a heightened state of emotion provoking a change in the learning environment, which thus influences the student's ability to remain focus and have a high retention rate. So, what should you do?
Well, listen to the music but without words. Let the experts of history homework help explain to you why.
Researches on the Influence of Music for Doing Homework
So, what does science have to say about it? The answers are kind of mixed. For example, one study done in 2013 at Stanford University tested 35 students on several different math tests in different music conditions – they had silent music, high-intensity (death metal) and low-intensity music (classical piano melodies). What they found is that the students scored best under the silence condition, and the low-intensity music beat the high-intensity one for second place.
However, another research done in Spain with 350 participants found that the students who studied while listening to classical music scored better on a subsequent test than the students who studied the same subject while listening to nothing.
Moreover, French scientists separated 2000 undergraduate students into two similar groups and made both of them listen to a one-hour lecture on athletics and afterward taking a multiple-choice quiz. One group was listening to classical music during the lecture while the other one listened to complete silence. The results show that the classical music group got higher results that “no music” group. So, what music is the best for doing homework? Classical one.
When you have got words in the song, you often find yourself singing along and not actually writing your essay. Classical music is the best of both worlds. It does not have confusing lyrics and also provides a change in the environment. Some Mozart or Bach could make your homework much more exciting and worthwhile.
The Best Music for Doing Homework: Our Preferences
We have gathered a list of the best music for different types of assignment and different level of complexity of your homework.
So, for tasks that require low mental effort or assignments that deal with very tangible information that you are already familiar with, high energy music can get you energized and helps get into the flow state faster. We are talking about such subjects as statistics homework, accounting or programming. Things where you know basically what needs to be done, and it is just a matter of manipulating numbers or codes to get it done.
If you want some recommendations for albums for this kind of homework, here are some great examples – The Algorithm “Polymorphic Code”, Pomegranate Tiger “Boundless” or Tides of Man “Young and Courageous”, etc.
However, once you get into tasks which are more cerebral and conceptual and you are trying to wrap your mind around something more unfamiliar, you really need to have either very calm music or silence. Here is the list of the best music for such homework – Olafur Arnalds “the Chopin Project”, Austin Wintory “Journey”, Kingdom Hearts “Piano Collection”, etc.
Doing homework in silence can work really well at times. But sometimes it gets really distracting because your brain starts picking out all of the little intermittent environmental noises you can't control. Calm music is not the only solution. You can also try a white noise generator like Simplynoise or nature sound generator like RainyMood or Coffitivity.
What Music Should You Listen to While Doing Homework?
There has not yet been a truly large-scale study on the effect of the music on the brain. But with the results we have right now, we can still make a couple of different conclusions. First of all, it seems clear that high-intensity music or songs with lyrics are not really good choices when you are reading or doing something that has to do with language or unfamiliar material.
Secondly, find out what works perfectly for you by trial and error. Music can distract you, but it can raise positive emotions, lower anxiety, and raise your motivation to stay focused as well. It will depend on who you are, what kinds of mental tasks you are performing, and the specific music you are listening to.