You’ve probably heard it before. Listening to music can make your child smarter, increase their mood, and health, and even help them study. It’s not just there to roll down the windows and blare it through the speakers (though that can be fun on occasion)—music helps us be happy people.

I remember when I first started listening to music while doing schoolwork. My mom was baffled and almost immediately told me to stop. I argued that it helped me, but she didn’t think it did. When she studies, reads, or writes, it must be silent. Any kind of noise or speaking is distracting for her. 

However, when she realized that I also listen to music while reading and writing and that I was comprehending what I was reading, she decided to give music and academics another shot. Since then, my academic concentration and eagerness have improved.

Many parents see music during academics as a distraction. While this can be the case for some children, other children thrive in a music-filled environment. The music your child listens to while studying can change the effects.

What kind of music is the most beneficial?

  • Classical music is said to help with mood and learning mathematics. It can improve test scores, decrease study time, raise IQ scores, and improve creativity and clarity.
  • Nature sounds, such as waterfalls, rain, and the sea can be calming. They can also be effective for blocking out background noise. Some other benefits of nature sounds while studying include optimizing concentration and enhancing cognitive functioning.

What kind of music is not beneficial?

  • Lyrical music is one of the worst kinds to listen to while studying. The flow of different words, especially while reading, can be confusing and impair the ability to memorize.
  • Heavy music, such as rock or punk, can have adverse effects on reading comprehension and mood, ultimately making it harder to focus.

What are the top benefits of listening to music for health and studying?

  • Listening to music can lower stress and anxiety, along with blood pressure, reduce pain, improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. 
  • Background music, especially while reading, can improve your reading comprehension and your ability to learn the material. 
  • Music can also help your studying endurance and add motivation.

What are some disadvantages of listening to music and studying?

  • Listening to music while studying may cause your child to need to listen to music again during a test, to recap and remind them of what they learned. It’s possible, that if your child is testing in a quiet environment, they can have difficulty remembering the information.
  • It may cause distractions, so it’s essential to know whether or not this method works for your child.
  • Listening to music at high volumes for extended amounts of time can damage your ears. Don’t allow your child to turn the volume up high, even to block out background noise. Otherwise, they may not hear when you call for them to take the dog out.

Tips For Making This Work

  • Create a playlist with your child so they aren’t constantly looking for different songs.
  • Keep the playlist around 40-50 minutes. This will remind your child to take regular breaks.
  • Don’t turn on the radio. The commercials and hosts can be distracting.
  • Keep the volume low. Listening to music at loud volumes can cause damage and make it hard to concentrate.

Finding what works best for you and your child is always important. Just remember that every child is unique and the way they learn is unique. So what works for you may also work for your son, but not your daughter or vice versa. Don’t be afraid to give music a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Ellen Blackledge is an IAHE intern. She is a homeschooled junior who has been homeschooled for seven years. Ellen enjoys reading, writing, theater, archery, playing piano, and singing. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in creative writing.