Listening to music - 5 tips to tune in, tune out and tune up!

Is listening to music while studying a benefit or a distraction? To help you decide on what to tune in to and when, check these tips.

We all know that music can affect our mood and take us to a special place. Chances are the artists you listen to now will be remembered for your entire life, for good or bad.

But will it help you study?

Choose your music

Tracks with no lyrics, instrumental or classical or ambient music are recommended. Avoid music you’ve got on high rotation. Unfamiliar tunes come with less triggers, and are less likely to distract or send you down a rabbit hole of memories or daydreams.

Choose your moments

Subjects like maths where you are working with numbers, ratios, angles and problem solving or using visualisation can be good with music. But if you are studying the poetic rhythms and meanings of Shakespearean sonnets, then plain silence might be your best friend. The bottom line is if you find yourself re-reading a paragraph over and over its time to switch off the music to see if that makes a difference.

Sometimes going from music to silence or visa versa can help engage you and shake you out of a rut.While music can help you study and relax,avoid getting into a habit of connecting music to recalling certain information. Remember, the exams are a quiet affair.

Love the quiet, too.

Use headphones

For removing distracting sounds and to avoid distracting others then headphones are a must.

Nothing says I’m studying intently more than a huge set of cans on your head (though earbuds are fine too).

The noise limiting or cancelling function of headphones also means you are less likely to get distracted by sounds around you. Even music at a low volume can help you to sustain focus.

Make it part of your routine

We are creatures of habit and use music to do a whole lot of different activities already, like exercise, household chores and even to help fall asleep. Why not use music to get set up to study to put you in the learning mood. Just like your workout playlist, make a pre-study playlist of tracks that gets you in the right frame of mind.

Use music to dial down the stress

Studies show music can improve emotional state and that helps to improve cognitive function.

So, if you're feeling a bit dazed or distracted then it might be a good idea to put some music on. Not only can it help you concentrate on your studies, it may help to turn the stress levels down, making you feel positive and helping to get in that learning mood.

Remember, If you're having a bad day or feeling overwhelmed, reach out and talk to someone – there are support services available online or phone 24/7.

We're wishing all Year 12 students the best of luck for their final exams!

Related posts


  • Physical health and wellbeing
  • Study tips and tricks


  • Mental health
  • Physical activity
  • Wellbeing

Business Unit:

  • Communication and Engagement
Return to top of page Back to top