Music’s Effect On Multitasking & Learning

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,959
    Education expert Ann Dolin discusses how music effects multitasking and learning.

    Ann Dolin: Many students insist they study better when doing multiple things at one time, but research has shown that students are less likely to remember information when studying with so many distractions.

    Still for students who like to multitask, there is a better way. Students should focus on one objective, say reviewing for a history test, and then take a tech break. 20 minutes of devoted time studying can be followed by a five minute break to text or check email.

    Some parents ask whether music itself helps or hurts when it comes to studying. Research shows that music is helpful when doing a mundane assignment like copying spelling words or making Spanish flashcards, but when it comes to studying for tests, music does more harm than good.

    When students study with music in the background, they are less able to retrieve the information from their long-term memory when it comes time for an exam.

    If the student absolutely insists on listening to music, try to pick music without lyrics or songs they are familiar with. The brain can't focus on both studying and learning new lyrics.

    With these tips in hand, studying sessions can be far more productive for the multitasker.