Don’t you wish you could remember everything you want? Although it’s just about impossible to do that, the good news is you can get very close! In this article, you’ll learn about the effect of music on memory and how to use it to your advantage…
We like to think that memory is a key indicator of our intellectual abilities. After all, that’s what makes us such a capable species. Without memory, we wouldn’t be able to pass down information from generation to generation, which is how we evolve.
Several studies on music affecting memory can help us further understand music for memory and how they relate. Music is one of the few elements we can actually manipulate to create more robust memories.
Let’s take a look at some research on music and memory, the beneficial effects of music on memory, and music that helps memorization.
Does Music Affect Memory?
It absolutely does! In fact, there’s plenty of research on music and memory. Studies have shown that music affects the brain in many different ways.
Harvard researchers at the music and neuro-imaging lab have shown that singing can be helpful to patients recovering from a brain injury or stroke that’s caused damage to the left-brain region responsible for speech. Since singing takes place on the right side of the brain, people can learn to speak through song before gradually moving back into speaking.
Another study shows the relationship between music, memory, and emotion. Since music evokes strong emotions and emotions boost memory processes, we can understand that music is involved in forming memories. This could apply to memories about certain pieces of music or information associated with specific music. Several studies have shown that verbal memory and focused attention can significantly improve by listening to favorite music every day, especially when compared to those who don’t regularly listen to music.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t remember things is due to stress. That’s where music and memory recall come into play for various reasons that all come back to the effect of music on memory…
- Minimize stress
- Improves mood
- Allows clearer thinking
- Increases alertness
- Provides much-needed breaks
You’ve probably heard that music is a form of therapy, which can be true. Stress can cause negative thoughts to barrage and cloud your brain, preventing you from thinking clearly. It can also be the reason you feel unmotivated to work or study. Music can help you take your mind off stressful situations.
Listening to happy music almost always brightens your heart and mind. Listening to songs you enjoy can also put you in a good mood. I bet you’re thinking of a song that lifts you up every time you hear it! And, as we mentioned above, research shows singing along can improve your brain function.
Allows Clearer Thinking
Let your thoughts follow the organized musical patterns and rhythms for you to focus better. Studies show that our brains operate by rhythms. By listening to the rhythms found in memory-boosting songs, you’ll be able to study in a clear and calculated manner.
The alertness effect of music on memory leads to enhanced attention when you listen to more alert musical pieces. You can essentially get “pumped up” by a song and use that as brain energy.
Songs that can stimulate your brain and make you more alert start slow for a few seconds, then pick up. They also have positive lyrics and an upbeat tune. These are great songs to listen to when you’re starting your day or when you feel like you’re slowing down. Here are a few good ones:
- Demi Lovato – Confident
- Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
- Avicii – Wake Me Up
Provides Much-Needed Breaks
Taking a few moments to hum along with your favorite piece gives you some time to contemplate new information while also allowing you to reward yourself. Music can be a good reminder that you’ve been studying or working for a while and deserve a break.
Now that you’re familiar with the effects of music on memory, let’s check out some top memory-boosting songs to listen to when you start your day, while working, or on breaks. Some of these songs are more calming than others, and some are more boisterous than others. Play around with the different selections and see what you find to be the best music for memory, mood-boosting, alertness, or anything brain-related.
1) Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik has a vivacious tempo that will make you feel more energized. It’ll also enhance your dopamine levels, which will help you remember new information better.
2) Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
Moonlight Sonata inspires peace and tranquility, adjusting your serotonin production. The more engaging parts bring back your focus if you start slacking.
3) Espiritual by Marcus Viana e Transfônica Orkestra
Espiritual will give you some ambient music to enjoy and increase your productivity. The instruments play in a mellow fashion that’ll assist with your concentration.
4) No Ordinary Love by Sade
No Ordinary Love has a very structured rhythm (like many familiar love songs). It has lyrics, but the singer’s voice is sophisticated, and you won’t lose your focus. However, humming along here and there may help new information stick better.
5) Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Richard Strauss
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is an inspiring piece that’s not distracting at all. It’ll help you get into a consistent pace with your studying.
Final Thoughts on the Effect of Music On Memory
Did you memorize everything you just read? Just kidding! We hope that you enjoyed learning more about the effect of music on memory. With the many benefits of listening to music, it’s one of the best ways to focus and learn more. Schedule a lesson with a private teacher to learn more about music or invaluable study tips.