Numerous studies have shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, boost mental capacity, and improve mood due to its beneficial effect on brain chemicals such as dopamine.
The brain-music connection is associated with improved mental alertness and memory that also helps with better performance. So, while many of us are aware of the importance of a good working or learning environment, that does not necessarily mean music should be turned off.
Research demonstrates that music is a potent and captivating medium that speaks to our emotions, affecting our mood, cognition, and behavior. It can influence physiological processes that enhance physical and mental wellbeing for people at all stages of life.
Choosing the Best Music for Learning a Subject
If you are studying, researching, or learning a new subject while listening to music, the study itself becomes more enjoyable and you can end up being more productive. However, it’s important that the music type you listen is carefully selected, depending on your task at hand.
For example, it is generally advisable to listen to upbeat pop music while studying the arts to activate the right lobe of the brain. However, it is best to choose more rhythmic songs for any course or subject that uses the left side of the brain, such as science and French.
In any case, listening to calm study music is ideal since it helps prevent your attention from wandering and keeps you focused on your learnig for longer periods of time.
Music Genres that Impact Mental Behavior
Research has identified the impact of specific music genres (like classical, rock, and hip-hop) on brain functions. Some of the best music genres to listen to depending on your objective and type of tasks you are performing include:
- Classical music has long been recommended as the ideal background music for learning since it alters moods and is also thought to reduce anxiety. It is particularly good for creating a soothing atmosphere that is good for tasks that require deep reasoning, planning, and when solving logical tasks.
- Calm music such as relaxing piano and water sounds can assist in overcoming stress or mental tension. It makes perfect soft music for therapy because of its stress-relieving power. Those who practice meditation find calm music very soothing. By boosting mood, calm music is also beneficial for gaining the mental state necessary for research.
- Focus music such as ambient house for work or study blocks out distracting stimuli with one, relatively simple stimuli, thus aiding in improving concentration and attention. It is ideal for listening while solving mathematical equations or dealing with other tasks that require exact calculation and in-depth analysis.
- Low Fidelity (lo-fi) music is a family of chilled-out hip-hop (also called chillhop) that offers an unobtrusive soundtrack that's very calming and low-key enough to enhance focus on tasks at hand. It increases mental alertness, motivation, involvement, as well as your typing speed. Overall performance will be enhanced and improved without leveling off when you listen to lo-fi.
- Chill music (a general term for genres like electronic, jazz, Smooth, and Post-rock that are characterized by slow tempos and relaxed moods) tends to stir the artistic side of the brain and increase creativity. It is an ideal option for people who are studying humanities and or require imaginative thinking to pick up new ideas.
- Upbeat music is a good idea to re-energize yourself when your focus is flagging and you're beginning to feel fatigued. When you listen to upbeat soundtracks, it can considerably elevate your mood, ease stress, and promote feelings of joy. People looking to evoke feelings of happiness, love, desire, hope, or joy can listen to an upbeat tempo and forget all about their daily struggles—at least for the moment.
Overall, there's no doubt that music can be a powerful tool to make us feel happier and less stressed. Different music pieces encourage various parts of mental activity and can boost your brain power, as well as come in handy for learning and memorizing information,
So, whether you are studying or working and need to increase your concentration, lift your mood, or spark your creativity, selecting the right music can help you get there.