Do you have trouble focusing when you are studying? If you find yourself
distracted or have trouble solving complex problems, we may have just
the solution for you. Studies show that listening to music can help you
to study. This phenomenon is known as the “Mozart effect”
and for good reason; it’s only certain kinds of music that help
your brain to focus. Blasting out Justin Bieber while you are studying
for an exam is more likely to be a hindrance than a help.
Studies show that listening to Mozart improves spatial-temporal reasoning.
Spatial-temporal reasoning helps you to find abstract solutions to complex
problems. A 1993 study by Rauscher, Shaw and Ky found that playing Mozart
to test subjects helped them score higher on the spatial-temporal portion
of an IQ test. In another experiment, three and four-year old students
who were given piano lessons for 8 months scored 34% higher on their IQ
tests than students who were not given piano lessons. So popular has the
theory become that the governor of Georgia, Zell Miller petitioned the
government to provide a fund for purchasing classical CDs for all Georgian children.
Not into Mozart? There are other options. In general, baroque classical
music, like Vivaldi or Teleman, has much the same effect as Mozart. Try
to find music that has 60beats per second. To a lesser degree ambient
music including genres such as ambient house, ambient trance, new age,
trip-hop and Nu jazz can also be used to improve leaning. The music must
blend into the background; if you are singing along or focusing on the
music instead of your studies, choose a different artist.
If you find music distracting, try ambient sounds such as whale songs,
waterfalls, ocean waves and other natural sounds. Eno’s “Music
for airports” is specifically designed to relax and calm tired travellers
in airports. Eno’s background music heightens your mood and occupies
those parts of your brain that may cause distractions while you are studying.
If you don’t own any music to study by, you can stream songs for
free from SomaFM, DI FM, and MusOpen. You can also install classical music
apps on your phone so that you can listen to music on the go or at school.
Classical and ambient music is said to calm the nerves and elevate the
mood, so you may want to consider listening to it even when you aren’t
studying. Listening to classical music for ten minutes before a test or
exam will help to improve your spatial-temporal abilities and calm you down.