A couple of decades ago, there was a huge craze for playing classical music to help babies and small children learn. Based on a few studies, many came to believe that playing Mozart would turn children into geniuses. While there is some evidence that some types of music can help improve brain function, the effect is small and temporary. But there is some truth to the idea that music can impact one’s academic performance. This is why many people wonder how music affects academic writing performance. Can music help to make you a better writer? The answer may surprise you.
There are two schools of thought about how music can affect academic writing performance. According to the Guardian, listening to music causes students to do worse in revising their academic writing than those who studied in silence: “Students who revised in quiet environments performed more than 60% better in an exam than their peers who revised while listening to music that had lyrics. […] It made no difference if students revised listening to songs they liked or disliked. Both led to a reduction in their test performance.” This is one view of the effects of listening to music.
Another view suggests that listening to music can spark creativity and enhance mood. This is typically the greatest power of music, but the effects tend to be very personal. The Independent reported on the way personality can interact with music: “Personality has also been shown to affect performance, with introverts more likely to test worse than extroverts. Similarly, people tested who are bad at multitasking have also been shown to test worse when listening to background music. For those who feel the pressure during exams, it has been observed that calming music, for example a Haydn string quartet, can help to reduce anxiety in an individual.”
The bottom line is that whether music works well for you depends largely on your personality and how you feel about music. Those who are introverted tend to prefer silence, and those who are extroverted tend to do better when listening to music. But it varies immensely by individual.
So how do you know what will work for you? Are there general rules you can follow? It turns out that the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might have thought.
One thing to try is to consider how easily you get distracted. Do you find that you easily lose your train of thought? Or do you find that you can focus even when there are other distractions circling round? The harder it is to focus, the more that music is likely to detract from your writing.
But if you are the kind who doesn’t get distracted easily, it’s worth thinking about what types of music are most likely to help you with your writing. A team of professional academic writers from WriteMyPaperHub service considers that classical music or music without lyrics can help to lift the mood without causing any distractions. Listening to music that is calming and relaxing can help you to feel relaxed and to focus on your writing.
Some, however, find that energetic music can get them pumped up for writing and provided a mood booster to help you push through with the best writing possible. But if you choose this path, be careful that the sounds you hear don’t filter into your writing. For example, sometimes listening to lyrics can cause you to unconsciously ape some of the language or accidentally include words from them in the sentences you write. You may need to double check, or simply avoid the problem by listening to music without lyrics. After all, you want to be sure that you prioritize your academic integrity and avoid situations that might accidentally have highly negative consequences that you can’t take back.
Overall, music’s effects on an individual are highly variable and revolve around the person’s personality, temperament, and preferences. It’s hard to generalize about what effects music might have one your academic writing performance, but you can make some inferences based on your levels of introversion and distractibility. As a general rule, however, avoid music when you need to concentrate and limit music to melodies without lyrics if you do choose to use it. That way you can put your attention where it belongs: On your academic writing rather than on your entertainment.