What music can help you concentrate?

By Stephanie McClelland
April 30, 2020

At one point or another you have probably heard someone saying that listening to music is the only way they can get anything done, or perhaps you’ve been the one saying it.


It has been shown that listening to music can actually help you focus and relieve stress while working by helping you tune out outside distractions.


Whether you have said it or have heard someone in your class tell this to their teacher so that they can listen to music seems to be a very popular trend, but the question is, does it really work?


The idea that music can help you academically stems from a study done in 1993 called The Mozart Effect. The Mozart Effect is the finding that listening to Mozart will increase your spatial reasoning skills.


This idea was tested by exposing lab rats to Mozart for a certain amount of time and observed that the rats that were exposed to the music performed better on tests than the rats who were not exposed.


It’s no surprise that this method of working will not work for everyone because everyone has a different way of learning and processing information. However if you are someone who feels that they need to listen to music to focus, keep in mind that there are specific music genres that actually help.

Listening to music while doing work can definitely have its benefits but it also depends on the type of music you’re relying on.


It has been shown that the best type of music for focusing is classical music, because since there are no lyrics there is less information that you would be processing while still having that outside stimulation.


However, this is not only limited to classical music. There are other types of music you can listen to without becoming distracted.


Anything considered ambient is a useful tool when it comes to seeking out concentration. Ambient music is anything that has a gentle style with no lyrics and no continuous beat. Examples of ambient sounds could be nature sounds or music you would hear in a spa. 


One surprising musical element that can help increase concentration is video game music. Video game soundtracks are designed to help you focus and keep your attention on the game to encourage longer gameplays. 


So if you are one of those people who swear by listening to music while you work, think about changing from your normal everyday music that you use for enjoyment, and replace it with more relaxing genres to help you improve your work.


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Stephanie McClelland

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