Sometimes it’s ok to remove your ear buds

While many students listen to music constantly, it can actually become a distraction during studies

Students often listen to music during class and while completing homework.

Esther Son

Students often listen to music during class and while completing homework.

Esther Son, Staff Writer

According to a study by the University of Phoenix, studying while listening to music has been proven to stimulate certain parts of the brain, but some students find it difficult to focus with an outside stimulus.

When walking down the halls of Liberty High School, many students have either headphones or earbuds encasing their ears. The amount of students who listen to music is so prevalent that it is often considered strange if you don’t listen to music of some sort, according to a screening done by psychologists at the University of Barcelona.

Some students simply listen to the genres of music that they enjoy listening to on a regular basis while studying. They don’t set aside a special playlist just for studying or doing homework.

“I listen to alternative music, and it sort of helps,” sophomore Summer Tribble said.

Other students use music as a tool to get rid of outside stimuli. They don’t consider the music itself to be a distraction but instead listen to music while working to help them focus better.

“I listen to all types of music,” sophomore Andy Boulos said. “It helps block out my siblings shouting at each other.”

According to the study in Phoenix Forward magazine, songs with lyrics can actually distract students from what they are supposed to be doing. Listening to music with lyrics is a particularly bad idea when studying languages, because lyrics affect the same parts of the brain that comprehend language.

In classrooms where teachers allow their students to listen to music, the students often tend to mishear or not hear the teacher’s directions at all.

“One of my students was taking a test while listening to music,” English teacher Mrs. Porter said. “He turned his test in with no annotations. He didn’t hear my instructions.”

Classical music, in particular, has been proven to enhance mental tasks for short amounts of time. Known as the Mozart Effect, this set of research results enhances mental tasks such as memorization in what is known as “spatial-temporal reasoning,” as stated in the Phoenix Forward article.

The lack of lyrics and the invigorating tempos that are associated with classical music stimulate the brain by activating patterns of nerve clusters that are similar to the patterns in the music. According to “The Mozart Effect: A Closer Look,” a published piece at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stimulation excites the brain. It propagates more synapses between brain cells, ultimately creating more and more efficient conduits of brain function.

Whether you listen to pop, country, indie rock or live performances by orchestras, music can be an effective way for students to gain focus while studying, but it can also become an undesirable disturbance.