We all have a soundtrack to our lives. No matter your personal taste in music, songs capture the best parts of our days. Music connects us to our memories and to one another. Some sing in the shower, some sing right out in the open, and some quietly rock out to their favorite album while walking to class. All of us have songs that bring us to a place like nothing else can.
When Autumn comes around, and thoughts of school and studying flood my mind, I take an inventory of my favorite songs and construct a playlist that will effectively encapsulate this time in my life. I want to be able to remember my most liked artists and genres years down the road, because in this digital age, music serves as a scrapbook that we can share with those whom we know and love.
Although fun and enriching, music can also serve a practical purpose in collegiate life. When it comes down to writing a paper or flipping through Quizlet flashcards for the hundredth time, I have a tendency to only listen to specific music in order to get in the zone. My go-to has to be long, instrumental movie soundtracks or melodious piano music. As soon as I click play, I feel invigorated, inspired, and incandescently happy. Studying should not only inspire critical thinking, but creativity; good music can spark both.
In a study, “The effect of listening to music on concentration and academic performance of the student: Cross-sectional study on medical undergraduate students,” Naveen Kumar, et. al concludes that when students listen to music while studying it improves their overall academic performance. Not just any music, however, music tailored to the specific task.
Out of a group of 200 participants, 120 preferred listening to music and saw the direct benefits while 80 did not. This means that nearly two thirds of participants around our age enjoyed the positive effects of listening to music while studying and performing other important tasks.
Not only does music contribute to our academic success, but to our ability to connect with other people and feel encouraged during difficult times. The music that we all treasure contains within it the power to transport us to a place of nostalgia, and this remembrance helps shape the way we move forward. I encourage you all to be open to experimenting with new things you may have never heard before while constructing your perfect playlist. As Plato once articulated, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”