‘Huh?’ ‘What?’ your student says with an earful of music. With big headphones or fancy air pods, every student attempts to block out the outside world with the bass or guitar of their playlist. As soon as the books come out, so do the earphones. So, it’s no secret that with all the music festivals, streaming services and pop culture artists in today’s society, students enjoy music. They listen to it on the bus, in the shower and now, when they study. You might be worried that the incessant boom blasting from their ears is distracting, but we’re here to tell you to think again (students, you’re welcome).
For one, it makes studying a whole lot more interesting. Without a quiet environment or white noise that is studying without music, students’ study sessions can be livelier. It’s no longer a tedious or dull task to flip through a textbook and write an essay with nothing but their thoughts and your nagging questions. Students might also experience an increased sense of motivation knowing that their favourite song or artist is guiding them through.
Believe it or not, it actually gets the brain working. Like all things, brains need to be exercised. So, forget leg day or arm day, because for students it should be brain day. We’ve all probably heard that exercises like puzzles and mind games can have positive effects on our brain’s functioning. But, what perhaps most commonly slips under the radar is music’s ability to do this too. As both an easy and convenient exercise, the lyrics, the beat and the patterns within a song are a great cognitive exercise to train and challenge the brain.
A great deal of students’ anxiety and stress stems from their studies and the deadlines of those studies. Having something familiar or fun playing in the background can reduce these factors. If its anxiety that your student experiences, we suggest rap or hip-hop music. Whilst it might sound counterproductive, just trust us. The uplifting nature of this genre is proven to assist students’ moods and consequently their anxiety. And for those stress-ball students, music that students can relate to is a good strategy to overcome the stress. In processing their emotions and resolving issues through the lyrics of others, students can find a sense of calmness and feel content.
Now, this is something you might not remember as a kid, but you might remember it when you did it for your kid. A lullaby. When they were screaming or unsettled, a lullaby was always a good way to get your then-infant-now-student to relax. Despite your pitch and the fact that you might have been off-key (don’t worry, we all were), students experienced a relaxed state. Fast forward some years, and that same technique still rings true. In listening to their favourite playlist or artist or even some of your old classics (yes unfortunately, they are now considered old), students can be more positive and retain what they are studying better.
So, it might not be Mozart, but there’s nothing that a little Beyonce can’t fix. And who knows, they might even play it out loud so you can join in!