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Music therapy, an excellent tool for doing better this semester

By Sarah Oulman

For most students, the start of a new semester means preparing for those first important tests and dealing with the stress involved. Music, through music therapy, is an excellent tool for doing better this semester, as it can aid in studying, increase students’ test scores, and reduce stress levels. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship.”

Several studies have shown just how we can use music to help us get higher test scores, as well as relieve stress.

Don Campbell, author of The Mozart Effect, shared a study performed by the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning in Irvine that could prove to be helpful to students. Campbell explained that researchers found that listening to Mozart’s music increased students’ test scores, and there is a direct correlation between music and the brain’s abilities to work. During a separate study, researchers also found that those who listen to music can memorize more material than those who don’t.

Not only can music help you study for your next test, but it can also help you relieve stress. According to Campbell, the vibrations in music can influence the human body. As a result, the body’s blood pressure, breathing, heartbeat, and stress levels can be influenced this way to increase or decrease.

James Smith, a student on the Leesburg campus, explained that although he had heard of using music to help with stress and studying, it didn’t work for him all the time. “If I’m reading, I can’t listen to music and read at the same time. When I’m writing, I’ll listen to music, and it does help,” Smith said.
While music and music therapy may not work for everyone, it’s something that would be worth a try. Next time you sit down to study for a test, pull out your headphones and turn on some calming, if not classical, music. This study tip might just help you memorize more from your notes and lower your stress levels!

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