It’s no secret that school can be stressful, especially around final season. The coffee and lack of sleep aren’t doing anything to help your heart rate, then there are other options that you’ve used to calm down, but they always seem to pull you away from the desk. Whether it’s going for a jog, calling a friend, or taking a break to watch some movies, none of these things help you to relax and stay focused while you’re in the moment.
So, what can you do to prevent anxiety while working on even your most stressful tasks? One practice scientists have found to be a reliable amplifier for performance in school is listening to classical music!
You’ve heard that classical music helps babies learn languages early on or even helps your window-side tomato plant grow better. It turns out that it can be applied to your studies too!
Here are a few of the many benefits to listening to classical music when you’re working: It helps with focus, calmness, brain function, and retaining information. Altogether, classical music can help you do better in school and develop a workflow that eases your stress levels.
But what’s the secret behind classical music? What is the extent of the classical music benefits and how does it scientifically improve your grades? Let’s find out…
Classical Music Helps You Stay Calm
If you’ve ever felt calmer reading a book on a rainy day or felt a little less stressed around some nearby waves, you know that certain sounds can have a pacifying effect. The same concept can be applied to listening to classical music. Classical music is composed and performed in a way that helps your brain release more dopamine. Studies have found that compositions from musicians like Mozart can interact with your brain to improve your mood on a chemical level, thus increasing your productivity and overall happiness!
When your brain is flooded with dopamine while you’re studying, you’re more motivated to continue the sensation and absorb the material that’s in front of you. It’s similar to the natural, exercise-induced dopamine rush that compels athletes to push a little harder during a workout.
The dopamine produced by the tempo, instruments, and composition of classical music helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Rather than getting frustrated with classes or particularly challenging assignments, listening to Bach could help alleviate those feelings weighing you down. When you’re less discouraged when studying, you are more likely to return to the task feeling upbeat, confident, and ready to enjoy the challenge ahead.
Classical Music Provides a Motivation Boost
Another brain benefit of listening to classical music while you study is that recharges your willpower and beats burnout. Studying complex math equations or combing through dense literature can feel rather tiresome when you’re at it for hours on end. Your brain is working at full-steam to evaluate new material and store information for later, which can tax your will to persevere.
Think of brain power like a battery charge. Every time you have to work through another math equation, the meter goes down one notch. But when you have a constant source of dopamine-production, it can actually help recharge your willpower. Other activities that recharge the brain are sleeping or doing a meditation, both of which are proven study aids. When you listen to classical music, you’ll be able to continue working in good spirits and feel less bogged down when you engage in free time outside of studies.
Classical Music Promotes Better Physical Health
It’s clear that listening to classical music while you study can provide mental and emotional benefits, but did you know this genre can also improve your physical health by reducing stress? When classical music releases dopamine in your brain, it can turn a stressful situation into a more relaxing and engaging learning environment. This can help lower your blood pressure as opposed to other “more exciting” genres like jazz, country, or rock music. Classical music—especially pieces that avoid dips and dives with big orchestral sections—can peacefully combine violins, clarinets, harps, and the piano to put your body at ease.
Using soothing classical music to wind down when you study can make other corrections in your body in the long term. The lowered blood pressure effect from classical music is associated with slower, healthier breathing. Instead of hunching over your desk or cradling your knees to self-soothe while doing homework, classical music can help steady your breathing and expand your stomach, chest, and lungs. With slower breathing, you’re more likely to improve your posture and increase blood flow, making you more alert for your work.
These benefits of listening to classical music while you study are long lasting and can lead to better lifestyle. If you can stay relaxed while engaging in your most stressful tasks, your body can recover more easily while you sleep, so you will retain more information when you need it later.
Crank up the Tchaikovsky!
As students approach finals, it’s important to remember that studying and health are deeply connected. The healthier the student, the better they can study. Using classical music to destress can be key to maintaining good grades and staying healthy during long study sessions.
If you’re looking for recommendations on how best to incorporate classical music into your study habits, you may want to look to artists like:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Johan Sebastian Bach
- Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
- Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc
- Achille-Claude Debussy
- Frydreyk Franciszek Chopin
- Erik Satie
- Gabriel Fauré
Each of these composers have the potential to help you make the most of these benefits. So, the next time you need to stay up for a long night of studying, it may benefit you to take a trip to the 1700s for your next study playlist.