Studying can be literally painful sometimes, with the way that it totally and utterly drains us of any enthusiasm for learning. Yet other times, studying provides us with a thrill, reassuring us of how knowledgeable we have the potential to be. For some of us, dying of boredom happens often during a study session, causing us to lose focus. This greatly decreases the efficiency of our studying.
A tactic that I use to stay relatively interested in what I am studying is listening to music as I read my notes, copy information or recite things to myself. Of course, the music is kept at a background level so that it will not distract me. This article will outline how to effectively utilize music to keep you interested in your study material. Such details are significant when selecting your studying playlist.
There are many kinds of music that you should NOT listen to when studying, not even at a background level. Below is a list of characteristics in music that this author believes you should avoid:
• Limited instrumentation with prominent vocals
Limited instrumentation amplifies the prominence of the vocals, which may distract your brain from thinking about the study material as you follow along reciting the lyrics. Music like this consists of singing or rapping that is supported by quiet instrumentation that does not provide its own melodic line.
• Loud instrumentation with quieter vocals
Loud instrumentation is distracting, with an off-balance of quieter vocals that will make it difficult for you to think while listening. Loud instrumentation often has a difficult melodic line than you will instinctively try to follow along with.
• Anything overly catchy or appealing
Music that you are incredibly fond of may also cause distractions. This is why one should not study with music from a mainstream radio station if they are a frequent listener. (Radio stations have commercials, which are also distracting.)
Below is a list of characteristics in music that this author believes are potentially beneficial when studying:
• Soft instrumentation
Music with soft instrumentation may or may not have accompanying vocals. It is good background music, as its lower volume will allow your mind to think while enjoying it.
• Anything you aren’t very familiar with
Music that you are not familiar with will stop you from accidentally singing along to it rather than studying.
Normally, to save time, entire albums should be played chronologically to avoid wasting time selecting another song. It is advised to compile a playlist of numerous tracks on the computer or music player, and use the shuffle feature.
Eden Full is a happy Grade 12 International Baccalaureate Diploma student at John G. Diefenbaker High School in Calgary, Alberta. She is an alumna of Shad Valley Trent 2008, and a summer intern for Impact. Her all-time favourite band is Thrice, and her favourite classical composer is Antonio Vivaldi.
Image courtesy of photographer "Ðxb Editiön ©" at flickr.com.