The Mozart Effect

By: Christina Ferrari

I listen to music when I study. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy, my mom doesn’t understand it. But I can’t concentrate any other way. Especially when it comes to paper writing, having a little Kina Grannis or acoustic guitar playing in the background helps me stay focused on the task at hand and brings me back to what I’m supposed to be thinking about as opposed to letting my mind wander all over the place.

I can’t do coffee shops, they’re way too noisy, too distracting with people coming in and out, and they’re expensive (I feel like I have to order something just to sit down and use free WiFi, that can get pricey pretty quickly. I’ll stick to my free tea and iced coffee drinks at home).

The library is way too silent and there’s something about them that make them always so cold. No matter whether it’s the campus library or a public library, they love to blast the AC.

But in my room, on my couch or at my desk with some calming indie tunes I can get in the zone pretty quickly. And I’m not that crazy, research has shown that certain types of music can stimulate your brain and increase concentration…depending on what you’re working on. They call it the Mozart Effect, a study found that listening to music (without lyrics) can improve spatial processing and accuracy linguistic processing. That being said, other studies have shown that music leads to lower test scores. Scientifically speaking, the jury is still out about the role of music in academic performance. But in my humble opinion, from my experience, I have found that I’m much more focused and less stressed (and I find studying more enjoyable) when my speakers are serenade me.

So what about you? When you need to concentrate, is Pandora playing? Are headphones in? Or are you one of those silent types? Let us know what you think about my study habit and what you’ve found makes sense for you when it comes to diving into textbooks and typing up an essay.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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