Wired to the Beat

Music can pave the way to better learning


While listening to music may seem like a distraction, it can also facilitate studying and learning.

Ianne Salvosa, Reporter

Anytime throughout the school day you can most likely find a widespread amount of students with their earbuds in. In the cafeteria, classroom and hallway, many students are persistently listening to music. Usually, students being constantly wired raises attention towards teens’ relentless addiction to their phones but the issue actually bares a hidden benefit; focus.  

According to BBC News, the average student has a 10 minute attention span when it comes to school. Whether the cause may be lack of sleep, not eating breakfast or being bored, students seem to not be able to pay attention. As a result, students seem to have migrated to a solution of their own through their headphones. Studies from Stanford University show that when you listen to music, part of the prefrontal cortex is activated, the section of the brain that helps you pay attention.

Surprisingly, teen habits may have carved a path to new methods of learning instead of getting them in trouble. As soon as the teacher says it’s time to work, many students pull out their phones and start playing their favorite playlist. But how will listening to Rihanna and Twenty One Pilots help you strive towards success? When listening to music, you associate the song to a certain memory or event. Later on, when you listen to the song, you are instantly be taken back to certain point in time when you previously listened to it.

For example, take a dancer and their routine. Dancers often have to remember numerous dances at once which can be a strenuous task. But with the routines set to music, the prefrontal cortex is stimulated which aids in the memory of the dance. Dancing to the music contributes to the muscle memory needed to remember a dance.

Furthermore, while listening to music, it can block out any noise coming from around the room while you are working. If there is a lot of chatter from around the classroom, a student might have trouble focusing on their work. Likewise, studying at home may bring additional distractions such as television, phones, and other electronics.

Of course, not everyone can abide with this melodic benefactor. Some may say that music cannot take you away from distractions, but can actually become a distraction in itself. In a study made by the University of Wales, participants had to memorize a sequence of letters while listening to different types of background noise. The background noise consisted of the number 3 repeated, different numbers repeated and music. The participants in the study memorized the least when listening to the music.

Above all, music can help determine the difference between motivation and procrastination. Melodies and harmonies could take you a step further to becoming a more efficient and accomplished student. Sure, we all may be tangled in wires, but at least we’ve wired our brains to learn.