Music’s benefits on studying and how to find your ideal playlist

Setting aside a time for you to fully apply yourself to your work is most beneficial if you value good quality work. One of the greatest tools to do so? Music.


Contributed by Julia Bang

Setting aside a time for you to fully apply yourself to your work is most beneficial if you value good quality work. One of the greatest tools to do so? Music.

Sounds for studying. If you know how to truly study, you’ll find that sitting down, opening your laptop, and directing your focus to nothing but your work for a few hours is the best way to do it. Every high schooler has experienced the feeling of complete submergence in work. Whether it’s chemistry, geometry, history, English, biology, or whatever other classes you’re taking, there comes a point where you absolutely need prioritization. Even with clubs, sports, or other extracurriculars, there comes a time when you need more than just an hour to get everything out of the way. 

So, how do you do it?

“What do I do if I can’t stop grabbing my phone to scroll through TikTok?”

“What do I do if there’s too much noise, and I can’t concentrate?”

“How do I force myself to get things done today?”

Setting aside a time for you to fully apply yourself to your work is most beneficial if you value good quality work. One of the greatest tools to do so? Music.

How music affects the human brain

It may seem silly stressing over a huge exam and then plugging in your headphones to listen to something unrelated. However, scientific studies have shown that music activates both hemispheres of the human brain, maximizing both learning and memory. Not only is music the scientific answer, but it’s the universal language of emotion and expression. Oftentimes, music is remedial to our minds in positive ways. 

Music has a variety of different uses. It can stimulate the creative process, boost your mood, trigger nostalgia, wind down nerves, drown out intruding thoughts, and most importantly, it helps you study. By setting a certain ambiance wherever you take your headphones, you can set a certain atmosphere for your thoughts and emotions. 

An individual who thoroughly enjoys music as a part of their studying routine, Lily Plechner, a Hills freshman, stated how “it helps me focus and puts me in a better mood.”

She prefers music with lyrics, usually under the genre of ‘indie-pop’, which is coincidentally the genre of a large majority of popular TikTok audios. Through a Google Form, 70% of the respondents believed that TikTok has influenced so much more music pursuit in this generation, whether because of the catchy 15-second soundtrack, or the dances that go along with it. Multiple people said Tiktok provides them new songs to add to their playlist often.

Top 4 most beneficial music genres according to scientists

According to studies, when trying to get work done, these are the top 4 types of music one should listen to.

  1. Classical music: This type of music is famous for its impact on the brain and its ability to increase productivity. It’s also known to help one access information in the back of their brain, which is great for writing essays or responses. Classical music is best for studying, or when you need to memorize anything. The lack of lyrics may also be a factor, for some find words distracting.
  2. Nature/ambiance: This type of sound is most beneficial to those who prefer to work at a slow, relaxed pace. It’s scientifically proven to help ease nerves, thus producing better results.
  3. Cinematic music: Everyone knows the magical, whimsical Harry Potter melody. Or the sentimental, emotion-filled “My Heart Will Go On”. Listening to cinematic music takes you into a new world, and is highly beneficial for making you feel as if “your work is important.”
  4. Indie pop: This opens up a wide variety of melodies and songs; however, they all have a common lighthearted element to them. This is beneficial to many but is most stimulating for those trying to spark creativity. 

Spotify playlists

Other than these genres of music, there are endless amounts of playlists that Spotify provides its users. Some students, like myself, prefer to customize their own playlists to their liking. Something many of us find helpful is categorizing songs based on their ‘vibe’, or the type of situation most fitting for it. For example, some playlists feature upbeat, high-energy songs, while others may feature relaxed-pace, chill songs. If you don’t really have a preference as to the specific songs you listen to, Spotify offers its users thousands of different playlists, certain to fit your liking. Allie Tonuzi, a PHHS freshman, considers herself a fan of the Spotify playlists, as do many students. She believes that music drastically benefits her concentration, and says that “some of my best work happens when I listen to music.”