Every student knows how dreadful studying can be. Many students throughout schools all around the globe resort to music to help improve the boring conditions of studying. The majority of students never stop to think about whether listening to music while studying is helping or hurting their academic career. Moreover, listening to music while studying does in fact hinder students’ abilities to perform well on tests, quizzes, papers and more. Listening to music, especially with lyrics, is not beneficial during studying and students should refrain from doing it. 

Studying with music impairs memory retention . Most students use music as “background noise” while studying, thinking that it will block out sounds from the outside world to help them focus. However, music, especially with lyrics, can impair the brain’s cognitive abilities, as it causes the brain to attempt to focus and memorize two different things at once. This makes it extremely difficult to memorize material. Furthermore, studying with music breaks a student’s focus, as the brain can not differentiate the two. This causes students to take many “breaks” during studying, leading them to not retain as much of the information. With the loss of memory retention,  listening to music while studying impairs a student’s overall performance. 

Studying with music, especially with singalong lyrics, can also distract students from the material. When a student’s favorite song comes on, it can be hard to avoid singing along. Because of this unavoidable activity, students are distracted from whatever material they were trying to focus on, and it can be even harder to get back into focus even after the song is over. Many students lose their train of thought while listening to music, and it can be hard to focus on both the song lyrics and study materials. Work and studying is done less efficiently because of the distraction caused by listening to music. 

Some may argue that music is calming and helps focus during studying, but studies have proven that music with lyrics can distract from the material and prevent memory retention. Music distracts students from efficiently completing their work or studying and interrupts memory and information absorption. Music may be calming and help clear the mind of stress, but it is not good during studying. It is hard to focus on potentially boring school work when listening to your favorite songs. A study from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff found that students who studied for a memory test in silence did better than those who listened to music. This is because music is distracting, even more so than simple background chatter or mechanical noises. Although many students believe that it is better to block out the outside world sounds with music, it is not the best alternative. The outside world may be loud and distracting, but fun music is even worse. Despite popular belief, listening to music is not beneficial and should not be done during study time. 

Listening to music while studying is based on student preference, and some believe that music has no effect on their cognitive abilities. Students can participate in methods that work best for them, however if a student finds they have focusing issues or wish to raise their grades, then studying with music is not the best option. Although listening to music while studying may not be the best thing, listening to music can be good when done before or after studying. Because music has proven to calm the mind, which puts students in a better mood. Once in this “good mood” state, our IQ is increased and studying is much more efficient. Studying with music is based on the preference and capabilities of each student, but adding music to your study routine will not help you improve. Finding complete silence while studying is the best option.