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Musical Impact on Learning Process

Learning is a process inherently known by every human being, it is something each person does throughout their life, regardless of their desire to do so. An ability to walk, speak, and interact with others are all kinds of behaviors people have to learn to progress, to be able to survive on their own someday. Learning is most extensively done in families and educational institutions, which give young individuals the ability to understand the world around them and gain the necessary skills to improve themselves. College is one of the later steps in the education process, the one that allows people to harness specific subjects and be able to use them in a more professional capacity.

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There are a variety of factors that can affect the learning process, both in negative and positive capacities. Each person has to find a set of stimuli that allow them to best gain knowledge and utilize it in the future. Music is said to have a large influence n the way people learn and absorb information, with some seeing it as a benefit to their education experience, while others can consider it a hindrance. This essay aims to take a further look into how music affects the learning process, and understand the positive and negative effects of its use. The paper will consider the effects of music on college-level studies, on the performance of children and the elderly.

The Effects of Music on Studying

Music is often cited as an effective way to help one study, due to a variety of effects it can have on the human brain. Music has been proven to decrease exhaustion and tiredness in students. Soothing tunes can be used to alleviate blood pressure and decrease the heart rate in people. In terms of studying, the attitude towards the process is also important to consider (The Benefits of Studying with Music 2019). Music can aid in alleviating the pressure and anxiety associated with education, which in turn improves one’s mood, wellbeing, and concentration. Another great benefit of music is its ability to improve focus and concentration, which would allow a person to study for longer amounts of time and absorb more information (The Benefits of Studying with Music 2019).

There are certain downsides to playing music while studying, and they need to be discussed as well. Certain kinds of music can, alternatively, draw the attention of a person away from their task and toward listening, which decreases focus (Gentle, 2019). Loud music can also cause a distracting effect as it drowns out the thoughts of the person. A less obvious drawback of music and studying is that, much like any other activity, it can be formed into a habit which makes studying harder without music (Gentle, 2019). This occurrence can present an issue when music is unavailable, for example during a test.

Effects on the Brain

It is a widely known fact that the brain is divided into two hemispheres, each responsible for its own kinds of activity, and active during different activities. The left part of the brain is regarded to be responsible for logical and analytical thinking, while the right resides over imagination and creativity. Due to the varied nature of human activity, only one of the hemispheres is usually active during a particular task, which limits a person’s ability to engage with it in a nuanced fashion. Music, however, has a limited capacity to activate both halves of the brain (Jun, 2019). This can help to increase one’s memory and improve learning.

Music stimulates different areas of the brain, and they differ depending on what kind of engagement with music a person is having. In the case of listening, cochlear nuclei, the brain stem, and the cerebellum are activated, which are responsible for sensory processing and receiving information (Jun, 2019). Listening to the lyrics also activates the language centers of the brain, which try to understand the words being sung in the song. Listening to music has been associated with some structural changes to the brain’s learning capability, which saw it improve the auditory and motor complexes (Jun, 2019).

Increased ability to created auditory imagery was similarly connected with a person’s habits of listening to music. Another research connected with the effects of music on a person’s brain ability has shown that it has lead to an increase in cognitive thinking. The cognitive performance increase was correlated with faster task completion and an increased amount of correct answers to questions. The thing to note, however, is that the improvement was caused primarily by the improvement of a person’s mood due to pleasant music, meaning that listening to music a person enjoys is most crucial.

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Effects on different demographics

Music also has an interesting effect on other demographics, not only on adolescent people and college students. In older people, the use of music has been shown to have a therapeutic effect in some cases. The music can provide elderly people with stress relief and improvements to their cognitive performance (Rodriguez, 2018). Research from the American Music Therapy Association has shown that musical treatment can be used to relieve stress and improve the general well-being of patients with Alzheimer’s (Rodriguez, 2018). The therapy can be utilized in various ways, including listening sessions, sing-alongs, and the creation of specific playlists (Rodriguez, 2018).

Music, as noted previously, can significantly affect a person’s mood and feelings in a particular situation, which can be used to evoke previous experiences and memories, positive encounters or to generally sway the mood to a proffered state. The use of music can be further interconnected with exercise, which allows promoting physical wellness in the elderly. For children, music can similarly be quite beneficial. During early development, it can accelerate brain growth and help the child develop in areas of language and reading. Furthermore, music has a positive effect on other spheres of childhood development, including skills necessary to attend school, motor skills, social behavior, and literacy (Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development).

Exposing children to music “helps the body and the mind work together”, which means that they have a better capacity for coordinated activity and understanding (Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development). Both dance and music contextualize and make understanding words easier for children, which allows them to learn and utilize them more effectively. Moving to music also gives a young child a method of self-expression and the development of memory.


Children and Music: Benefits of Music in Child Development. Web.

Rodriguez, J. (2018). The Benefits of Music for Elderly Adults. Griswold Home Care. Web.

The Benefits of Studying with Music. Florida National University. (2019). Web.

Jun, P. (2019). Music, Rhythm, and the Brain. Brain World. Web.

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Gentle, S. (2019). Is Listening to Music While Studying A Good Idea? Onrec. Web.

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