The "How music is used to help some students to study" essay describes why music can prompt some to concentrate better while it can serve to distract other students. Music can be listened on three planes. To the sensuous listener the appeal of music is self-evident. The sound element is powerful and mysterious. Most people listen to music at this level where they can forget themselves. This can be most relaxing for students as it helps them to unwind and release tensions. They can forget and unwind because the concentration is on what generates the sound, the quality of sound and the intensity of sound. Thus the mind is away from studies, which helps in unwinding. With a little guidance, it is possible to inculcate the habit of listening to some piece of music with a higher level of awareness. If they develop the critical skills to think intelligently about their music, they will be able to retain the skill and apply it to the music pieces they are taught.
Associative listeners will find that the music reveals some story in their mind. It can evoke memories from the past which can cause disturbance to the minds of the students specially those that are very emotional. In fact, one can trail back and dig out all connections that the music leads them to, which may not be desirable.
A critical listener would analyse the rhythm, the melody and the harmony or criticize and compare two different works from the same composer. They would also analyze if the music is able to convey and arouse
the feelings intended.
Such students analyse the strengths and weakness of the music and the performance by the singer/musician. This develops the critical ability of the student while also enhancing the music skills. The attentive listener does not arrive at any conclusion till he/she has heard the music till the end. However, before they start listening they form a genre of the music piece and summarize their findings. They listen to the piece several times; they analyze and respond as an attentive listener only after they have heard it several times. They also analyse what feelings the music generates within them and how they feel. Music has harmony, rhythm and melody. Music is revealing; it can articulate feelings without becoming wedded to them (McIntyre, 2009). Music helps children with several emotional disturbances or children who are impulsive and are unable to regulate their lives. Music helps children to experience a state of stability. It can enhance the self-esteem and create an environment where students can release their inhibitions. However, music can be distracting also. Rhythm excites physically and prompts