Music helps you learn

Does music help you learn?

July 2019

Opinions differ - as is so often the case, it can, but does not have to be.

For some, listening to music is the horror of learning. You are distracted, attention is lost in the clutter of sounds. For others, music helps them concentrate better and even learn more effectively.

Basically, we feel comfortable listening to music. And mostly with music that we like to hear. Since feeling good is a very important motivator for personal learning processes, the idea of ​​learning with music is not so easy to dismiss.

Almost all regions of the brain are networked by listening to music. Scientific studies have shown that certain areas of the brain are supplied with more blood when listening to music. Several studies have also shown that the brain learns more effectively when it is stimulated with pleasant sounds. The key word here is pleasant, because the spectrum of pleasant music is as broad as people's musical tastes.

Nevertheless, a certain preference for music suitable for learning could also be demonstrated. This is music with 56 to 64 beats per minute, which is roughly the same as a person's heartbeat. So it is rather slow and calm pieces that have a learning-enhancing effect. One also speaks of the “Mozart effect”, since classical pieces in particular have this property. Classical music, for example, is supposed to increase spatial awareness.

Recent studies have also shown that it doesn't necessarily have to be classical, but that your favorite music works too. The Mozart effect can also be created with rock music, with electronic sounds, calm, low-text singing or with natural sounds and ambient noises such as rain, water droplets, waves and even animal noises. If you want to try it out, you will find various playlists on the Internet.

Since music has a direct effect on our emotions, care must be taken when making a selection that no pieces are chosen that are too emotionally touching - positively or negatively touching. Listening to the radio is also not suitable because the interruptions caused by advertisements or announcements are annoying. It is also not advisable to listen to texts while learning a language, as this can lead to interference and the distraction is too great. The regions of the brain that are responsible for learning the words and those that simply hear the words are then in too great a contradiction, and hearing usually wins.

Our blog author: Anke Kuhnecke