We’ve all been sat with our head in our hands midway through a study session. Mental or physical exhaustion could have got to us, maybe we’ve just hit a wall, or perhaps the information we need to absorb is (un)helpfully dancing around in front of our eyes. Whatever the scenario, there comes a time when we all wonder if we’re studying in the right, or most effective, way.

The act of studying itself isn’t easy to master; this is because, technically, there’s no correct way to study – we’re all different and therefore what works for one may not work for another. Over the years we’ve been nudged into believing that we should study in a quiet environment in silence – that’s how we’ve taken exams, after all – but for some this method backfires. It’s not unusual for students to struggle to study in a sound-free setting with just their thoughts for company. If you find yourself fighting the urge to fall asleep at your desk or this quiet environment makes you want to run for the hills, we recommend changing it up; throw a little music into the mix.

Make Music Your Medicine

No, unfortunately we aren’t suggesting you learn the lyrics to Rudimental’s new single These Days. Over the years music has been used for various reasons other than to simply entertain the listener. Ever been to a restaurant where they’re playing songs with a fast beat? That’s to encourage diners to eat quicker. Ever wondered around a department store with classical music playing in the background? That’s to try and get you to slow down and make a purchase. Crafty, right?

Music can do wonderful things to our body. What’s that saying? Music is good for the soul. Not only can it elevate our mood, but it also has the ability to calm us down, relax our breathing and lower our pulse (slow music in particular). International news agency Reuters states that “relaxed minds are better at receiving new information,” and therefore it’s best to study when your brain is in a relaxed state.

Studying to the Right Kind of Music

You could be a heavy-metal gal or a Classic FM kind of guy; our music tastes differ widely, so what’s the right kind of music to study to? We advise avoiding songs with lyrics – it’s best to avoid that awkward moment when your lecturer reads a line from Adele’s Someone Like You in the middle of your accounting case study. It’s worth noting that songs can also be a distraction, so it’s important to get the balance right. Music with a relaxed tempo, listened to at a moderate level is ideal if you want to put your mind at ease and reduce anxiety. At Aspiring we often listen to the calming sounds of nature (YouTube’s great) if we need to put our heads down and crack on. There’s nothing more relaxing than the soothing sounds of a birthing panda.

We don’t all have the luxury of having a quiet library nearby or a study we can shut ourselves away in for an hour or two. If you’re forced to study in a noisy environment, music can also help to block out distractions – it’s definitely worth developing a coping strategy to deal with the noisy neighbour or that marketing exec with a loud motor mouth!

Check out GoConqr’s ‘Music for Studying: 10 Tips to Pick the Best Study Music’ list for some inspiration. You never know, the next time you sit down to study, that feeling of dread may be replaced with a calm aura. Let us know what numbers you put on your music playlist by commenting below.

Looking to study an accounting qualification? Contact Aspiring Accountants today for more information on the right course for you.

A little extra: Fancy having a read of ‘20 Study Hacks to Improve Your Memory?’ GoConqr has your back. Come your AAT exams, you’ll be laughing.


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