In the laziest form of journalism (yes I’m talking to you, Buzzfeed), my university student experience can be summarised in a single gif.
According to Radio Live’s 2019 ‘Share of Audio‘ study, Australians spend 3 hours and 28 minutes listening to audio every day, with this number being increased by 7 minutes from the previous year (Hishon, 2019). With aspirations of being a music journalist, I have a strong passion for writing and researching music. I’m constantly listening to music throughout the day, while exercising, cooking, working and studying. Whether carefully planned or executed last minute, studying is a key aspect of every university student’s experience.
With this in mind, I wanted to explore the use of music during study. My initial research questions included why do we listen to music while studying, what the most/least popular genre is and if this differs to students typical listening habits. Knowing this would be a wide area to attempt to cover within one semester of research, I considered what facet of this topic would be most achievable, relevant and timely. Narrowing my research topic down, I’ve decided to investigate what music is the most and least popular genre to study to and whether this differs from individuals usual music taste. This research aims to enhance students understanding of studying and music listening habits to improve their productivity and ideally, their results.
Fortunately, this topic has been well researched in recent years through the commonly debated, Mozart Effect, and increase of music accessibility through streaming services. The sound theory, known as the Mozart Effect, was first theorised by Dr Gordon L. Shaw in 1993 where he claimed that students perform better after listening to Classical composer, Wolfgang Mozart (Hershenson, 2000). Despite the theory being disproven, the Mozart Effect is still the catalyst of my research in looking at the relationship between music and studying (Hamer, 2016). Focusing less on science, my research aims to identify what music different students listen to and how they believe this influences their studying experience.