We all have our own techniques when it comes to studying for exams or just catching up on a few math problems for the next course meeting, but music tends to be our go-to for background noise while the books are out and the pencils are moving. The genre of music ranges per person generally. For myself, listening to hardcore music or indie rock helps me stay focused because it makes the time doing homework more entertaining. If the subject is more difficult then I usually need complete silence, but otherwise bands like A Day To Remember and The Color Morale have no effect on my work.
That genre is less common and normally you will find students listening to something mellow and instrumental. There has been research done on this concept by the University of Wales. They looked at how background music affects students’ ability to remember terms in order.
The way they broke it down was into five separate categories: complete silence, “steady state” speech, “changing state” speech, playing music the student enjoyed, and playing music the student did not enjoy.
Researchers expected the students to not be able to focus with the “changing state” speech because it would be like doing homework while people are having a conversation. The “steady state” speech was assumed to be more accommodating because it would be like a fan humming in the background, which is easier to tune out. The results with the music comparison, whether it was something they liked or disliked, did not show a drastic difference. Their study basically showed that it really depends on the individual.
North Central students like Maxine Lange ’15 and Jake Camiliere ’15 find classical and instrumental music to be their go-to genres while going through their course work.
“I listen to my Pandora station titled Piano Guys, which is classical music with a hip-hop feel to it,” Lange said. “It helps me focus because there aren’t lyrics for me to sing along with, but it gives me the background noise I need to keep me awake and energized to do my homework.”
For Camiliere, his study time is instrumental or no music at all. “The words aren’t there to distract me, but the instrumental music fills the silence or blocks out other people talking around me.”
There is a lot that is going on around campus that can be a distraction, but with music, it seems like it helps us hone in on the tasks at hand. More often than not, we are running into the Boilerhouse for a caffeine fix and an hour to kill doing homework, but with everyone going in and out the commotion can throw us off. For those of you who don’t know, North Central has this nifty little app called “Rock-Bot.” This allows students to create an account and request music to play in the overhead speakers of the building. If you need something mellow go request a Sam Smith song or if you need a pick-me-up try requesting the latest Megan Trainor hit.
There are many opportunities on the North Central campus that can give students like us the inspiration from music that we all need from time to time.