Does Listening to Instrumental Music While Studying Help You Focus?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re looking for a way to boost your focus while studying, you might want to try listening to instrumental music. But does it really help? We’ll take a look at the research to find out.


It’s a well-known fact that concentration and focus are essential for studying effectively. A 2012 study from the University of Wales found that students who listened to music while studying had significantly improved focus, concentration, and understanding compared to those who did not listen to music.

There are many different genres of music that can help you focus while you study, but instrumental music is often the most effective. This is because it doesn’t have lyrics that can distract you from your work.

Instrumental music can also have a calming effect that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, both of which can interfere with your ability to concentrate.

If you’re looking for some great instrumental music to help you focus while you study, here are ten of our favorites:

What the Research Says

Although there isnt a ton of scientific research on the subject, there are a few studies that suggest instrumental music can help you focus while youre studying. One small study showed that students who listened to classical music while taking a test scored higher than those who didnt listen to any music at all.

A 2010 Study

In a 2010 study, French researchers had a group of students listen to an instrumental version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” while they worked on a computer-based task. The students who listened to the music were able to complete the task more quickly and with fewer errors than those who worked in silence.

A 2012 Study

A 2012 study found that listening to instrumental music can help you focus while you study, but it depends on the type of music you choose. The study found that students who listened to classical music while studying scored higher on tests than those who listened to other kinds of music or no music at all.

The researchers believe that the classical music may help to improve focus and concentration by providing a “mental scaffold” on which the students can organize their thoughts. However, they cautioned that not all types of music will have the same effect, and some types of music may actually be distracting.

So if you’re looking for something to help you focus while you study, classical music may be worth a try. But if you find that other types of music are more distracting than helpful, it’s best to stick with silence.

A 2014 Study

A 2014 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that listening to classical music may help improve memory while studying. The researchers had participants study a list of words, and thentested them on their ability to remember the words both immediately and after a delay. The participants who had listened to classical music performed better on both tests, suggesting that music may help with both short- and long-term memory.

However, it’s worth noting that the study only looked at classical music, so it’s unclear whether other genres would have the same effect.

How to Use Instrumental Music to Help You Focus While Studying

If you’re looking for a way to focus while studying, you may want to try listening to instrumental music. Instrumental music can help you focus by providing a distractions-free environment and by increasing your concentration. Additionally, listening to music can help you relax and calm down, which can also improve your focus.

Choose the Right Type of Music

Not all music is created equal when it comes to studying. The type of music you choose can either help or hinder your efforts. In general, you’ll want to steer clear of anything with lyrics. While a song with motivating lyrics might pump you up for a workout, it can be a major distraction when you’re trying to focus on a reading assignment.

Instrumental music, on the other hand, can be very helpful in maintaining focus. The right mix of music can help you stay in the zone while you study. If you’re not sure where to start, try some of these tips:

– classical music
– jazz
– film scores
– Ambient/electronic (think Brian Eno or Aphex Twin)
– nature sounds

Set the Mood

First, you want to set the mood. You can do this by choosing a place to study that is conducive to concentration. Make sure the temperature is comfortable and there is minimal distractions and noise. Once you have found the perfect spot, it’s time to choose the right music.

Instrumental music can be divided into two categories: classical and modern. Classical music has been shown to be beneficial for studying, while modern instrumental music can also be helpful if it is chosen carefully. In general, you want to avoid songs with lyrics as they can be distracting. Instead, focus on finding pieces that are mellow and have a consistent rhythm.

Some specific genres of instrumental music that are known to help concentration include: jazz, folk, EDM, and R&B. Create a playlist of your favorite songs in these genres or find a pre-made playlist online. There are many different options available, so take some time to experiment until you find something that works for you.

Once you have your playlist ready, put on your headphones and hit play. Make sure to keep the volume at a level that is comfortable for you – too loud and it will be distracting, too soft and you might not be able to focus properly. After a few minutes of listening, you should start to feel more relaxed and focused on your work.

Get in the Zone

Listening to music can help you focus while studying, but it depends on the type of music you choose to listen to. Instrumental music without lyrics can help you focus and concentration, as it won’t distract you with words or singing. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can make it easier to focus on your work. If you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, try listening to some instrumental music while you study and see if it makes a difference for you.


After looking at all of the research, it seems that listening to instrumental music while studying can help some people focus and concentrate, but it’s not going to work for everyone. If you’re someone who gets easily distracted or has trouble focusing, music might help you out. But if you can study without any distractions, you might not need it.

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