For the majority of my life, I've sworn by studying in complete silence. I'd dread when people wanted to listen to music while trying to absorb information. However, since spending my first week at college, I've learned just a few interesting things about the merit of having some background study music.
1. There is something called the "Mozart Effect." And its scientific merit is more than impressive. In fact, studies have shown that listening to music while studying can streamline concentration and also aid in memorization, thus increasing overall mental function. It doesn't matter whether it's Beethoven or Beyonce, personally enjoyable music will help you focus.
2. Stress is reduced by distractions. So this one seems reasonable when discussing experiences (i.e. distracting yourself from the stress of homework with mindless browsing through Twitter), but is often overlooked when it comes to studying. Students often feel overwhelmed when it comes time to sit down and memorize, so listening to a soothing tune can often aid in relieving those feelings of tension. Distracting yourself from the task as hand as much as possible is the goal.
3. Motivation is enhanced by pump-up music. If "pump-up music" can be defined as Emile's Pandolfi's "Gymnopedie." If you think of it in terms of working out, you're often more willing to run an extra mile or do an extra set if you feel invigorated by an upbeat tempo. Classical music has the same effect, just with a slightly different sound.
4. You're less likely to engage in conversation, giving you more time to focus on the material. Studies have shown that dismissive body language causes people to retreat from personal interaction. While the goal is not to be antisocial, it is important to make sure your work gets done. Having earbuds in is one of the most effective ways to make yourself look busy. If you're a social butterfly and worried that you're going to get distracted by your friends when you have something with a close deadline, put those earbuds in and get to work.
Of course, listening to classical music, or any music, while studying is not for everybody; however, I can proudly say that I am a changed individual because I tried out the other side of the debate and it's shown me great benefits. If you're having trouble studying effectively, try cranking up your music.