Point counterpoint: Studying to the sound of music


Photo used with permission from Michael Heigl

Many students use music as a way to stay focused and motivated while studying.

Sierra Wamsley, Editor-in-Chief

With midterms quickly approaching, many are looking for a productive way to study. Some turn to study groups and others to parents and teachers for early morning help, but the majority of teens at South turn to music. Depending on the type of music, it encourages the mind to relax and students to focus on schoolwork and study material without feeling easily distracted.

Studies have been conducted which asserted that classical music is the most effective study device to excel during midterms. It has been proven that the smallest exposure to one of Mozarts Sonatas, for over 8 minutes a day, can raise 8-9 IQ points and help with everyday problem solving. Listening to music beginning at a younger age will also help with fighting depression, learning foreign languages faster, better communication skills, and improving creativeness in teenage years. However, waiting to listen to music while studying in the high school years does not have as exaggerated an effect.

In 1998, Zell Miller, the governor at the time, stated that $105,000 of the $12.5 billion yearly budget was spent on a Classical music CD for every child in the state. He believed in the Mozart Effect and the connection between the music and a mental ability.

No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess. Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.

— Zell Miller

A Russian study found that when classical music is played a little bit every day for six months, the brain becomes more relaxed and the body has lower blood pressure even when the children payed no attention to the background music. A few suggested classical songs include Mozart Sonatas or French music.

Although there may not be many studies on other types of music being helpful for studying, students at South have found various genres of music perfect for their healthy study habits. Sophomore Serena Madsen said, “When I study, I prefer pop music because of the upbeatness of it that keeps me focused and motivated unlike classical music.”

Many students on campus agree that listening to other genres of music help them focus and complete a higher quantity of work. Another student, freshman Riley Durbin, said, “I like listening to rap even when I study because of the beat and it helps me stay focused. However, sometimes I need to listen to music to stay focused and sometimes I don’t and it is not useful.”

Music can raise the emotional state and creates a much more happy state of mind and makes one a bit more responsive to information given. It is shown that students have better reasoning skills after even just 10 minutes and improves memory and learning. Listening to music creates a much clearer environment and a more focused mind. Classical music encourages sleep as well as eases any kind of pain and creates a sharper memory over time. Along with that, listening to classical music can create smarter children with a brighter future ahead. With assignments finished on time and less stress from cramming for midterms, students and faculty at South can relax for the holiday break.