Jared Cooney Horvath

Could classical music boost learning and memory?

While research suggests that music may increase students’ enjoyment and make them more relaxed, these aren’t necessarily beneficial things in the classroom, writes Jared Cooney Horvath

Could classical music boost learning?

A common argument for classical music being a special learning enhancer concerns relaxation. It has been demonstrated that classical music can trigger the brain’s release of dopamine – a chemical that contributes to joy and can reduce stress. Presumably, this dopamine release will make learners feel relaxed, which, by extension, will assist with learning.

Unfortunately, relaxation may not always be optimal for learning. In fact, a wealth of evidence suggests that low to moderate stress can significantly boost learning and memory. (For more on whether music during study can help or hinder ...

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