Music & Learning

Music & Learning

We have recently issued guidance to pupils on when / if music might be helpful for learning. Whilst there are no ‘absolute’ rules regarding music and concentration, research suggests that we should always ask ourselves the question ‘is music helping me to study more effectively at this point?’

The following guidelines may also help inform any discussion around music;

Research shows that songs with lyrics are potentially more distracting than instrumental melodies, and that music with other modes or tempos could possibly evoke obstructive emotions for learning. Most music streaming services have ‘work’/’focus’ or ‘concentration’ playlists which fit the lyric-free criterion.

Music is more likely to disturb learning if pupils are;

  • attempting to memorise / revise
  • completing an intensive task like essay planning or essay writing

Music is less likely to disturb learning if pupils are performing more repetitive tasks, e.g.;

  • Comprehensions
  • Exercises
  • Note-taking

It may also sometimes help by shutting out other noise or promoting calm whilst working.

We encourage Caterhamians to be self-aware and reflective in how they study; whether or not to listen to music is part of this process.

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