Should you listen to music when studying? In an ideal world we would probably say no music while doing schoolwork except classical baroque / instrumental music which actually can help your memory by getting the brain into a relaxed state. But a good compromise is as follows. If the work is not very difficult, and fairly routine, then you can have whatever music you like on. It will make you feel relaxed, it will make you feel like the time is going faster and help you stick to completing the work you need to do. But if the work requires higher order thinking skills, i.e. studying for a test, trying to understand something difficult, doing an essay plan, trying to learn or remember anything – then switch the music off. Otherwise it will end up taking you much longer to complete the task and to retain what you are learning (even though you are convinced it is not affecting you!). Just get in the habit of stopping and asking yourself each time before you start work whether it is the type of work that requires you to really focus and concentrate and if it is – switch the music off for awhile. The same approach goes for doing work in front of the TV.

 

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