7 Benefits of Listening to Music in College

benefits of listening to music

Music has often been regarded as much more than just an artistic medium. The goal of good music is to communicate ideas and elicit emotional responses. We all respond to music in different ways, and various kinds of music elicit different responses.

It is that diversity of musical styles and responses that make music an ideal accompaniment to study. Since every student is different, everyone also uses music in slightly different ways and for slightly (or even drastically) different purposes of enhancing the effectiveness of study and of promoting better learning. Here are seven common reasons students incorporate music into their study time. Which ones have you tried so far?

Background noise

The act of merely creating background noise can help some students focus and stay on task. There are many variables involved in this type of implementation, so it is up to the student or group to decide what kind of music or specific artist(s) will best help them stay organized and in the mode of learning.

A learning aid

Teachers and professors often use music as a means of supplementing lessons and lectures. It breaks up the monotony and helps the student make associations between the music and the course materials. That leads to better retention of information and better performance on exams.

A stress reducer

The right kind of music can help a student de-stress, especially when studying for a big exam or struggling through a complexly written assignment. It is much easier to get through a tough essay or homework assignment if there is some good music playing in the background. It is important to note, however, that the style of music can also have the effect of either increasing or decreasing stress, so choose wisely!

Motivation and inspiration

What if the words aren’t flowing out onto the page? What if you can’t find the motivation even to sit down and start studying? Ask yourself: “What kinds of music get me pumped?” What songs, artists, or musical styles motivate you to get stuff done? Take an inventory of those songs, artists, and pieces of music and put together a playlist that will keep you on point until the job is done.

Concentration and focus

Teachers and professors also use music as a means of helping students keep their heads in the lecture. Classical, ambient, and acoustic music are all familiar genres that educators use to create an atmosphere of inspired learning in their classrooms.

For calming fear and worry

Worried about failing that test you studied all night to pass? Before starting the exam, listen to some music that inspires you and helps you feel more confident. The information is already in your brain; the music can make it easier to access it.

For cognitive associations

Last but not least, music can be useful for making cognitive associations and chunking them in with songs, lyrics, or pieces of music. Difficult concepts can be better understood when there are associative elements in the learning process. While music isn’t the only valuable enhancement, it is one of the most significant.

All of the above implementations can help students achieve higher goals and get better grades, but we will leave you with just a word of caution: your favorite music isn’t always going to be most useful for learning. We recommend doing a little research to determine what kind(s) of music will best help you meet your individual goals.

Piers Golden is a writer who has been professionally engaged in the sphere since 2013. He covers the following topics: writing, education, marketing and more. Piers also features blogs on essay writing at EssayPro. And the photo at the attachment too.


I recently inherited my grandpa’s jukebox and I am thinking about taking it with me to college, so I am glad that I found this article. I did not realize that listening to music has so many benefits like the fact that it reduces stress. Also, it is good to know that music can motivate and inspire me when I’m struggling with homework.

As my son goes to college, I want to make sure he gets his work done and keeps up on school. I didn’t know listening to music could actually keep you on task, but it’s like creating white noise while working could help students focus and stay on task. I’ll have to show my son this article so he could make a playlist of songs he knows he could do homework while listening to, thanks to this article!

I love how you pointed out that music can help calm fear or worry. Most of my family members have anxiety or depression, so this would be good for them to know. Thanks for pointing out how important and beneficial music can be!

I like that you said that listening to music can be a stress reducer for me. In my opinion, I think I’ll get a ticket to see a touring country band so that I can find the motivation to study for a big exam before the semester ends. This way, I can focus on studying after I’ve listened to my favorite band on stage.

Nice Post Piers, The benefits you have mentioned are right but my reason of listening music in college is to keep in mind and motivate myself to be a great singer one day. I want to be a musician but completing my studies is also very important. And yes I agree that listening music can make work easy and we can feel stress free.

Thanks for the lovely article. You have discussed all the positive aspects of music in the best way. I too believe that music is a powerful tool to reduce stress and to create a better focus on studies and other domains of learning.

It’s interesting that creating background noise can help some students focus because I’ve been having a hard time studying. Maybe I should start listening to music and see if it helps. Do you have any genres you recommend?

Hi Rita,
Cassidy from Making Music here. Great question! I just graduated college a couple years ago and while I was studying I would often listen to instrumental classical music. I find that music without words or lyrics (for me personally anyway) is easier to use for background noise because I find it less distracting. With words I find myself listening to the message of the song whereas with instrumental music I find it is easier to let it drift to the back of my mind. There is also something called lo-fi beats that makes for great background noise with more of a chill, hip-hop feel. If you have Spotify there are tones of playlists on there for Deep Focus, Classical for Studying, etc. that I would recommend trying out. You can also find a lot of playlists on YouTube. I hope this helps!

Thank you so much for your advice that listening to music can actually help you focus on the task and get you motivated. About a week ago, I decided that I need to make some changes to improve my study habits. I need a way to zone out the world and focus. I wonder if I should look into headphones that could help me focus.

Hi Greta,
We hope that you find listening to music will help you! I have found that headphones definitely help me for my personal studying. Before I went to college a few years back, I got a pair of noise cancelling Bose headphones and they did wonders for my study habits! I would definitely recommend looking into some noise cancelling headphones if you think having just the music as background noise would be helpful to you. Best of luck with your studies!

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