Jul 9, 2024 •

Does Music Really Help You to Focus Better?

Does Music Really Help You to Focus Better?

You’re sitting at your desk with your textbooks, ready for a long study session. But distractions are everywhere—your phone, social media, and even street noise. This is where music can help by blocking out these distractions and creating a better study environment. But how does music help you focus?

Studies have shown that music can boost concentration and productivity. For instance, research by Stanford University found that music activates parts of the brain involved in attention, making predictions, and even remembering events. Additionally, the American Psychological Association notes that music has been effective in reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Benefits of listening to music when studying

Listening to music while studying has a lot of benefits that can improve focus, lift your mood, and make study sessions more enjoyable. Different kinds of music can have different effects, but the right music can make your study routine much better. Here are some detailed benefits of adding music to your study time:

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Music has a calming effect that can lower stress and anxiety levels. This is especially useful when you’re preparing for exams or working under tight deadlines. Calmer music, like classical or ambient tracks, can create a peaceful environment that helps your mind relax, making it easier to concentrate on studying.

2. Improves Mood and Motivation

Uplifting and energetic music can boost your mood, which is helpful for long study sessions. A good mood can increase your motivation, making it easier to stay focused on your work. Music with a steady beat can help maintain this positive state, keeping you motivated throughout your study period.

3. Enhances Memory and Learning

Music stimulates both sides of the brain, which can improve memory and learning abilities. Research shows that music can enhance the brain’s ability to process information and retain new knowledge. Classical music, known for its complex structure, is particularly effective in boosting cognitive functions, making it easier to recall information during exams.

4. Increases Focus and Attention

Background music can help block out distractions, allowing you to concentrate better on your tasks. The steady sound of instrumental music can create a buffer against background noise, making it easier to maintain focus. This is particularly helpful in noisy environments where staying focused can be difficult.

5. Boosts Productivity

Listening to music can make repetitive tasks more enjoyable and help you maintain a steady workflow. Music can provide a rhythm to work to, making boring tasks feel less tedious. This increased enjoyment can lead to higher productivity, as you’re more likely to stay on task and complete your work efficiently.

6. Creates a Positive Study Environment

Music can set the tone for a productive study session. Creating a playlist of your favorite study tunes can help establish a routine, signaling your brain that it’s time to focus. Over time, this association can make it easier to get into the right mindset for studying.

Can music help you focus?

For starters, yes. Music can greatly improve your focus as it creates a better environment for concentration and reduces distractions. Below are some of the positive effects on focus when listening to music:

Blocks Out Distractions

Music can act as a barrier against background noise. Whether you’re in a busy café or at home with the TV on, music can mask these distractions. Instrumental music, in particular, can provide a steady sound that keeps your mind from wandering.

Activates the Brain

Listening to music activates several areas of the brain, including those responsible for attention and memory. This helps improve cognitive functions, making it easier to process and retain information. Studies have shown that music, especially instrumental with a steady rhythm, can enhance your brain’s ability to focus on tasks.

Improves Mental Stamina

Long study sessions can be tiring. Music can help you stay focused for extended periods by providing a consistent stimulus that keeps your mind engaged. This is especially useful for completing lengthy assignments or preparing for exams. Music with a regular beat can help you maintain a steady pace, making it easier to work for longer without feeling exhausted.

Enhances Mood

A good mood is linked to better focus and productivity. Uplifting music can improve your mood, making it easier to stay motivated and engaged with your work. When you feel good, your ability to concentrate improves, and you’re more likely to enjoy your study sessions.

Creates a Routine

Adding music to your study routine can help create a habit. When you consistently listen to the same type of music while studying, your brain starts associating that music with focus and productivity. Over time, this can make it easier to get into a focused state whenever you play your study playlist.

Helps with ADHD

People with ADHD often find it hard to maintain focus because their brains crave constant stimulation. Music can provide this needed stimulation in a controlled way, helping to reduce the urge to seek out distractions. This makes music especially beneficial for those with ADHD.

Tips for listening to music while studying

Listening to music while studying can enhance your focus and make your study sessions more enjoyable. However, it’s important to use music effectively to get the best results. Here are some detailed tips to help you integrate music into your study routine.

1. Activate BlockSite

Blocking distractions is key to maintaining focus. BlockSite helps you stay on task by blocking websites and apps that can interrupt your study time. Use the Block List feature to select specific sites you want to avoid.

The Focus Mode can also help by creating scheduled periods where only study-related sites are accessible.

2. Choose Instrumental Music

Did you know? Music without lyrics is generally better for studying because it doesn’t interfere with your concentration. The thing with lyrics is that they can be distracting and this much more noticeable if you’re trying to read or write. Here are some instrumental music types that provides a soothing background that supports focus:

  • Classical
  • Ambient
  • Electronic

3. Maintain a Moderate Volume

Make sure that you keep your music at a moderate volume. It should be loud enough to block out background noise but not so loud that it distracts you from your work. Finding the right balance is important for maintaining focus and avoiding unnecessary distractions.

4. Create Playlists

Curate playlists that suit your study needs. Having a dedicated playlist saves you time and keeps the music flowing seamlessly. This helps you maintain a steady rhythm in your work without having to search for new tracks.

5. Experiment with Genres

Different types of music can work better for different tasks. Classical music might be great for reading and writing, while more upbeat music could help during brainstorming sessions. Try exploring various genres to see what helps you concentrate best. You might be surprised to discover that a different kind of music works better than what you’re used to listening to.

6. Use Nature Sounds

Nature sounds can create a calming environment that enhances concentration. These sounds can be particularly effective for reducing stress and creating a peaceful study atmosphere. Examples of this type include:

  • Rainfall
  • Ocean waves
  • Wind sounds
  • Running lake or river water
  • Birds chirping

7. Match Music to Task

Use different music for different tasks. For example, you might find that classical music helps you focus on reading, while electronic music keeps you energized during math problems. Matching the music to the task can improve your efficiency and make studying more enjoyable.

8. Take Breaks

Use music as a timer for your breaks. Study for a set period, then take a break when the music changes. This helps you maintain a balanced study routine and prevents burnout.

9. Avoid Music with Sudden Changes

Steady, consistent music is less likely to disrupt your concentration. Avoid tracks with sudden changes in tempo or volume, as these can be jarring and distract you from your work.

10. Stay Hydrated

Keep a water bottle nearby while studying. Staying hydrated helps maintain focus and cognitive function. Drinking water regularly can prevent fatigue and keep your mind sharp.

11. Create a Positive Study Environment

Set up your study space with good lighting, a comfortable chair, and minimal distractions. Combining this with the right music can strengthen your ability to focus.

What kind of music works best?

Choosing the right music can make a big difference in how well you concentrate while studying. Different types of music can have various effects, so it’s good to find what works best for you. These are the most effective types that you might want to try listening to:

Classical Music

Classical music is often a top choice for studying because of its soothing qualities. Composers like Mozart and Beethoven are known to improve brain function and memory. With no lyrics, classical music helps you concentrate without getting distracted by words. It creates a calm setting for reading, writing, or problem-solving.

Ambient Music

Ambient music offers a gentle, non-intrusive background that helps you keep focused. It usually lacks strong rhythms or melodies and it’s perfect for a peaceful study atmosphere. Ambient sounds can block out noise around you and keep your mind on your work, especially for tasks that need deep focus, like research or writing papers.

Nature Sounds

Sounds from nature, such as rain, ocean waves, or forest noises, can be very calming and reduce stress. These sounds create a natural backdrop that helps you relax and focus. They are great for creating a peaceful study space and can also help lower anxiety.

Electronic Music

Instrumental electronic music can give you a steady beat that keeps you energized. This genre is often lively and rhythmic, and ideal for tasks that need long-term attention and mental energy. Electronic music helps you maintain a steady pace and avoid fatigue during long study sessions and it can be very effective for repetitive tasks.

Lofi Hip Hop

Lofi hip hop is popular for studying due to its mellow beats and relaxing melodies. Usually instrumental with occasional soft vocal samples, lofi hip hop creates a calming background. The repetitive beats help you stay focused for longer periods.


JInstrumental jazz can be another good choice for studying. Its smooth, relaxing qualities provide a pleasant background without being too distracting. Jazz can reduce stress and lift your mood.

White Noise

White noise provides a consistent sound that masks other background noises. Sounds like static, fan noise or gentle hums can help you focus by blocking out sudden disruptions. This can be very useful in noisy places.

Take note: using the right kind of music can significantly enhance your study sessions. Try experimenting with different genres and find out what works best for you.

Music and BlockSite: A Perfect Combination

Using music while studying can improve your concentration and productivity. When you choose the right genres, you’ll be able to set an environment that helps you stay on task.

And with the help of tools like BlockSite, you can keep your focus better by blocking distracting websites and apps. Its features help in creating a study space that is free from interruptions. Combining the right music with these tools can make your study sessions not just more effective, but enjoyable.

So go ahead and try different types of music to see what works best for you. Let music and the right tools guide you to better study habits and improved concentration.


What is the best volume level for study music?

It is best to keep your music volume at a moderate level. It should be loud enough to block out background noise but it should not be so loud that it distracts you. You need to find the right balance so you can stay focused without overwhelming your senses. If you’re the type of listener who frequently adjusts the volume, try setting it where you can hear it clearly but it doesn’t dominate your thoughts.

Can music with lyrics help me study?

In general, instrumental music is better for studying since those that have lyrics can be distracting. Nevertheless, some people may find that certain lyrical music helps them concentrate. If you enjoy music with words, better choose those songs that have simple and repetitive lyrics because the words won’t take too much of your attention away from your tasks.

How long should my study sessions be with music?

One good method is to follow the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes of focused study followed by a 5-minute break. Of course, you can adjust these intervals to fit your preference. Some people prefer longer study sessions with longer breaks, and some prefer it be shorter. You need to find a rhythm that doesn’t only keep you focused, but also one that allows for regular short breaks to rest your mind.

Is it okay to listen to the same playlist repeatedly?

Yes, it can be helpful to listen to the same playlist repeatedly. Familiar music becomes predictable and less distracting and this will allow you to maintain your focus on tasks. When you have a go-to playlist for studying, it helps in giving a signal to your brain that it’s time to concentrate. Think of it like having a routine that prepares you for a productive session.

Should I change my music based on the task?

Yes, different tasks might benefit from different types of music. For example, classical or ambient music might be best for reading or writing. On the other hand, more upbeat music can be motivating for tasks like organizing or brainstorming. Try to experiment with different genres and tempos to see what works best for each type of work.