How can Music help us learn?

21st March 2017

Much research has been undertaken in the field of music and memorability. There have been tangible connections made between the use of music and an increased ability to process knowledge, and it is on this premise that we designed our LearnThruMusic resources. Chris Brewer wrote a significant book in 1995 which remains relevant today. Brewer investigated the connection between music and learning, underlining the ways in which use of music as a learning tool could have significant and positive outcomes, including:

  • establishing a positive learning state

  • creating a desired atmosphere

  • building a sense of anticipation

  • energising learning activities

  • changing brain wave states

  • focusing concentration

  • increasing attention

  • improving memory

  • facilitating a multisensory learning experience

  • releasing tension

  • enhancing imagination

  • aligning groups

  • developing rapport

  • providing inspiration and motivation

  • adding an element of fun

  • accentuating theme-oriented units

At times, the use of music is not a direct aid to learning, but can create an atmosphere and place in the brain where learning can be more easily facilitated. Music can also create a more positive working atmosphere by focusing attention and activating learners who thrive on aural stimulus. Brewer summarises his findings below:

“Music can be used to help us remember learning experiences and information. In Active Learning Experiences music creates a soundtrack for a learning activity. The soundtrack increases interest and activates the information mentally, physically, or emotionally. Music can also create a highly focused learning state in which vocabulary and reading material is absorbed at a great rate. When information is put to rhythm and rhyme these musical elements will provide a hook for recall”.

Through his research, Brewer highlights the reasons why learning through music can have a positive impact. In creating our songs, we focus on exploiting memorable ear worms and creating lasting clarity in our lyrics so that they will resonate with a listener. Using popular music genres and music styles, which both appeal to a teenage audience and allow for clarity of expression, we permit a full exploitation of the benefits of learning through music.

For more information see: Brewer, Chris. Music and Learning: Seven Ways to Use Music in the Classroom. Tequesta, Florida: LifeSounds, 1995


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