It’s time to stop the music

Unplug your earphones when you're studying

Junior Tristan Dock listens to music while completing his math homework.

Junior Tristan Dock listens to music while completing his math homework.

Binqi Chen, Editorials Editor

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As the holiday season continues in full force, everyone is jamming out to their favorite holiday songs and getting into spirit for the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s time to hit pause on your playlist while studying or doing homework.

Music and studying may seem to go hand in hand. When walking into a library, almost everyone has their earphones in to isolate themselves from the world and other noises that might shift their focus away from their work.

But what students do not realize is that two of the biggest distractions, lyrics and musical preference, are moving up those cables and wires and straight into their ears.

According to Clifford Nass, a professor at Stanford University, listening to music with lyrics while studying, especially in writing or reading, can be problematic.

Lyrics can jumble up our thoughts and cause our performance in writing to decrease as well as the absorption of read material. While listening to a song, people, whether consciously or unconsciously, get thrown off by the words and notes imbedded in the music.

In another study conducted by Dr. Nick Perham of the University of Wales, it was found that experimenters listening to both music that they liked and music that they disliked yielded similar results: low performance in short term memorization.

Both types of music were found to have led to lower performance results than the control trials that had a quiet environment.

Music can also alter the mood or feeling in the student, which causes rifts in focus and draws the student’s attention away from their text and into the blank space ahead; they end up thinking about everything except for what is going to be on that huge exam tomorrow.

In summary, listening to music while doing work causes interference with the processing of information and students should reconsider playing their favorite songs during an intense study session.

However, for those that simply cannot stand the silence and must constantly have music playing, all hope is not yet lost. Many studies have shown that listening to more classical music can actually benefit a person’s memory and ease anxiety. This is called the “Mozart Effect.”

Perhaps it has come to the time to set away those rap songs and breakup anthems for some calmer and more peaceful classical or orchestral sounds.

Listening to music at a high volume also can damage your eardrums.

Changing up your selection is also not a hassle at all. Many music streaming companies and websites already have pre-made play lists and hours of Beethoven or Bach on loop.

Another solution is ditching music completely and settling for white noises that includes hums and even sounds of nature that includes raindrops or chirping birds.

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

Be realistic with yourself. If you know you aren’t the best at multitasking and focusing, then ditch the global Top 100 play ist for some smoother, distraction free tunes.

Find out music’s effect on yourself, and then make a choice that will make you the most productive.

Although listening to music might be fun and relaxing, it’s important to know that you should consider ditching your headphones and turning off the speakers while doing activities that require high levels of focus.

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