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Choose the right music to get in the study zone
Choose the right music to get in the study zone

Should your teen be allowed to listen to music when they’re studying? Or should the iPod be banned?

This is a question we get asked by a lot by parents.

Chris goes nuts without music when he studies. Without it his brain wonders off and he starts to focus on everything but the books in front of him.

But some students can’t stand the slightest bit of noise when they’re studying! They need complete silence before they can really focus.

As it so often is when it comes to studying – whether your teen will find listening to music helpful or not really depends on them.

As we’ve discussed, people learn in different ways. Every student has their own ‘zen’ environment in which they study most effectively. And listening to music (or not) can significantly contribute to the success of a study session.

Music has an amazing ability to cause a shift in our mind set. We all have songs that trigger certain emotions. We associate different types of music with different feelings/events/memories. And the music I exercise to is very different to the music I relax to!

Over the years we have figured out what songs help us concentrate and which ones are only distracting.

It could be extremely beneficial for your teen to figure out if it helps or hinders them to listen to music while they study. And they think listening to music might help them, then they need to figure out what type(s) of music does this. (This doesn’t have to happen overnight!)

Once they have figured this out, it will be hard not to concentrate!

What is the best type of music to listen to?

Again, it simply depends. There is no rule book here.

What you find soothing, your teen may find boring. What I find helpful, your teen may find deafening and distracting. Some people prefer soothing, classical music. Others prefer death metal.

Study music is working when you don’t realise you’re listening to it.

The music should help your teen concentrate and not take up too much of their conscious thought.

So what should you do next?

Your teen might know already what works for them. If not – it’s time to experiment with a few different tunes.

You never know what may work, so let them give anything a go. Although I doubt heavy metal turned up to 11 does the trick for many.

If your teen can’t deal with noise at all when they study, it is probably a good idea to pick up some ear plugs for them. If they tell you death metal is what helps them get A’s, then maybe pick some up for yourself…

If you don’t have much music at home, there are several places on the net where you can listen to music for free! YouTube and Spotify are great places to start.

Image Credit: Kainet on Flickr



  1. I am not a teenager, and I can only focus to death and heavy metal music both when I study and at work. My mom hated this growing up, and after many years of agony I finally understood this. I cannot sit down to study, work, write, or anything else that requires my full attention without some metal… however, when I want to relax I will put on some flamenco- which I actually find quite distracting under any other sircumstances.

  2. I thought I was a true headbanger but I just discovered metal is my way of fully concentrate. I am a software engineer and in order to analyze complex code I need to listen some good death metal.

  3. Personally, I prefer to hear Tool or Bongripper when reviewing notes. Slipknot’s song “Iowa” and Cannibal Corpse’s “From liquid to skin” really help me focus. Some people really like songs that build over time and aren’t very fast paced because they don’t draw very much attention to themselves. But if your going to the gym I’d recommend Goemagot’s album “Eradication of insignificant beings”.


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