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Best Background Music to Focus While Studying

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

For law students, being able to maintain focus while studying is critical. Cases are long and complex, and losing your place, or drifting off into a daydream, results in wasted time or worse, a failure to retain information.

Fortunately, if you prep your studying environment properly, you'll be less likely to let your mind wander off onto a tangent, or to pick up your phone, or open another web-browser tab. And when it comes to creating the right studying environment, one often overlooked component is background music.

Below, you can read about what science says is the best background music for studying.

Lyrics Are the Enemy

When you're studying, you're trying to read, write, and remember words. If you have other words in beating in your ear holes, you're likely to run into some trouble due to the lyrics/words being overly distracting. The last thing you want is your music that's meant to help you focus to be the thing to distract you.

Pump Up the Volume, Just Not That Much

Although you might think that playing music as softly as possible would be best, researchers have found that pumping up that volume a bit is actually better. Louder music, simply put, activates and stimulates our brains, allowing you to focus better. It can also help drown out other noises which may be more disruptive.

Is Classical Really Best?

Sadly, researchers have also found that, indeed, classical music is among the best, but that might not be for the reasons everyone talks about. Interestingly, if you either like or dislike the music, it will be less likely to help you focus. Researchers discovered that music that people are ambivalent about is best, which might explain why classical music seems to put up the best results. Also, interestingly, music that involves nature sounds has been found to help improve cognitive function.

ProTip: If you spend the time to curate a studying playlist, you can strategically place songs you like in the playlist, every hour or so, to make sure that you take a break to stand up, walk around, or maybe have a dance-study break, to keep the blood flowing.

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