The title says it all, folks! The science doesn’t seem to support a consensus, and it looks like it kind of comes down to “it depends on the person”, but what’s your take? Personally, I find pretty much any music distracting, and only listen to it during a long review session if I find myself getting bored.
This youtube radio stream is one of my favourite things on the internet, and based on this blog post (always take blog posts with a big grain of salt), it’s the right kind of music to be listening to, because
it seems to be the case that music that puts you in a good mood and that is not interrupting because of rapid changes in tempi can be beneficial while studying.
If I could go back to my university-days self, I would slap myself upside the head for thinking I needed upbeat music to study/focus.
Only if I’m already listening to music, and the reviews aren’t stuff I have trouble with.
Or if I find I need to concentrate a bit, I pause the music and continue like that for a while.
I even sing sometimes for the extra challenge.
A lot of the times I listen to something like the Chilled Cow channel on youtube, sort of non upbeat chill/relax type of music (that’s what they call it, not me…haha) I play it low volume in the background and for some reason (it is probably in my head) but it helps me focus, makes me relaxed while I study instead of anxious. If I am relaxed everything tends to go more naturally for me, if I am not worried or trying to think too hard about what I am doing =D
I live in a fairly ‘busy’ part of town, so use music to block out the bustle outside. As long as it’s on reasonably quite it doesn’t seem to break my concentration too much.
My current go-to:
I’ll wear headphones without listening to anything if I’m in a noisy environment, but otherwise I think instrumental music is probably neutral for me (but can make a tedious job less boring / helps to drown out background noise more), while anything with vocals drastically lowers my ability to concentrate, even if I sometimes try to tell myself otherwise
I normally listen to radio programmes from here - radiko(ラジコ) | インターネット・スマホアプリで聴けるラジオ
But I’m very very particular about the volume!
For me it has to be classical/Instrumentals. If it has vocals I find myself always wanting to sing along which ends up being a distraction. I study plenty with no music too though so I guess I’m ambivalent.
I have my own playlist with instrumental music only. Nothing too upbeat that might distract me from the task at hand. Anything with vocals in it and I easily lose focus, but to each his own.
I usually like to listen to Japanese music while I’m studying/reviewing! Whenever I’m learning new content and need to focus better I just turn the volume down low. I’m not sure how much the music actually helps, but it makes me feel more immersed in the studying.
cough (click on the link I posted in the OP) cough cough
For studying, I need quiet. I do talk out loud through everything.
At work, I have music or a podcast going all the time but that’s to try and keep me focused on my own work as it’s a busy and loud office with people on the radios and walking through talking about various daily operations. I can close my office door but then I find it too quiet.
I like to have nature sounds on when I am in the office or on the train, I need to block out the external noise otherwise I don’t make much progress. Beach sounds work well for me.
If I’m serious about a lesson/review session I need silence. Any kind of music is distracting. But sometimes when I need to do a lot of reviews and not really in the mood I’ll put on some music without lyrics.
There’s an exception though. When I’m in a loud environment then music definetely helps to focus.
For SRS and flashcard systems like Wanikani, I usually have a video (often but by no means always music) playing in another window. I figure that if that causes me to answer something wrong, it probably needs more review anyway. I do try and keep the videos and music in the Japanese language, though, so at least it’s topical.
I have pretty severe ADHD, so I find that music helps focus my mind. Personally, I enjoy listening to upbeat things (Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Hiatus Kaiyote) while doing reviews, and during lessons I listen to soundtracks (Lord of the Rings, Lady in the Water, Coraline, The Village). I also LOVE listening to Studio Ghibli music, as well as the Jazz Cafe. I think that and the LOTR soundtrack are my go-to music for Wanikani.
#GhibliJazz #CafeMusic - Relaxing Jazz & Bossa Nova Music - Studio Ghibli Cover - YouTube
I don’t listen to music while reviewing. I’ve tried it, but I get too distracted by it. I need to focus on the kanji, not the music.
It’s funny you mention this. I just finished my reviews listening to The Pillows, haha.
I always listen to music during my review sessions and lessons. Usually anything japanese, because, why not? Lately it’s MADKID and 初音ミク I’m rockin’ in my ears
It doesn’t really distract me and when I need to listen to pronunciations I just pause it real quick.
It also helps drown out the noise of my siblings so that’s a plus.