Does Listening to Different Music Genres Affect Memorizing New Facts?

Testing Rock, Jazz, Classical Music and No Music and on classmates showing them the answers then a few days later give them a test seeing if they remember and get it correct. By the test scores we will make an overall mark for the musics.
Alise N Annella B
Grade 6


No video provided


If students listen to Jazz music while studying for the quiz then they will get higher scores than the students studying while listening to rock and classical and no music.


 Research Paper

To many our project could be overlooked, as many students just listen to whatever it is on the radio of the time they are studying. If we actually knew what music helps us study, it might help us get higher grades. Therefore our research question is ‘Does listening to different Music Genres Affect Memorizing New Scientific Facts?’ Our project focuses on how music genres affect learning, so that teachers will know what music is beneficial to their students to help them learn while having music on. For our project we will be having a few of our classmates in three different groups; the classical music group, the jazz group, and the instrumental rock group. In these groups we will give them science questions like “What letter does the periodic table not have?” to study for five minutes with their group’s music. Then the next day we will give them the test and play the same music as the day before to see how high the scores are. The tests will give us an average amount for each music genre. Once we have gotten all the results we will compare the averages and whichever one has the highest average, is the best music for studying for the majority of people. 


For this study our manipulated variables are the changing of music genres. As the three genres we did were Jazz, Classical, and instrumental rock we have researched each of these genres and how they affect the brain. First we researched classical music and how it affects the brain. We started to find a lot of websites saying it had many benefits to listening to classical music. To begin, the structure and slowness of classical music creates a calming effect due to release of  dopamine. Dopamine is the body’s natural happy chemical that causes emotional changes when released. For researching these music types it showed that dopamine was a crucial word to know when it comes to music and many other things to do with the brain. Classical music also reduces stress, improves sleep, lower blood pressure, improves memory, and higher emotional intelligence; all of those benefits from listening to classical music can help you study more confidently. The Mozart effect relaxes you, it helps you take on tasks with confidence, improves focus, improves memory, it calms nervousness or jitters, and finally decreases heart rate and anxiety. If your anything like me I personally think that I should always listen to Mozart before a test! 


Our next genre is instrumental Rock. Rock music elevates mood and energy. If it is a genre you enjoy then it releases happy hormones and dopamine in the brain and boosts creativity. Learning how to play rock music on instruments helps building and maintaining muscle memory because rock tends to have more keys and shifting notes. It actually also affects building social relationships. The reason is that building relationships is easier when people share interests and hobbies. So if two people like rock then they will have an easier time building a relationship because they share musical experiences and skills. 


Last but not least, Jazz. Like the other genres, Jazz can release dopamine and cause changes in mood. It enhances intelligence and performance. The syncopated nature brings out theta brain waves. Theta brain waves are the brains circuits used for creativity. Jazz songs with a rate of approximately 75 BPM increase alpha waves then resulting in more relaxation. Alpha waves are where the brain adapts and matches rhythm. From jazz music another brain wave that may occur is the Theta wave. Theta waves encourage creativity. Jazz music also releases the Delta wave which helps you get better sleep. Because it can release the Delta wave listening to jazz 45 minutes before you go to bed can help you sleep. Also if you listen to Jazz music for an hour it reduces depression. Cooler then all of those things above is that listening to jazz even for 3 months after a stroke can improve your verbal memory! I find that pretty cool!


Responding variable for us is how well the students do on their test. Theoretically if the music they listen to is helpful for studying then they should have higher scores than the people with music that doesn't help as much. Some people have better memories than others so that will be a big source of error.  Thanks to the score of the tests the outcomes will be what music is best to study with for the majority of students. 


Over our researching weeks we have found many cool facts about music and how it affected people and plants. One of the many studies that I found interesting was: “A study conducted by Dorothy Retallack in 1973 played music to plants for two weeks. Plants "listening" to classical and jazz music physically leaned 15 to 20 degrees toward the radio while plants "listening" to rock music grew away from the radio, became sick, and died.” That test showed that music even affects plants, but how does it affect humans? A 2001 study that people who listened to classical were more willing to open up and share. Dr. Catherine Jackson said, “Some patients who typically have a hard time sharing or discussing emotional content are able to open up and share.” 


After all of that we come to our conclusion. We believe that Jazz will be the best music genre to listen to and help memorize and retain new science facts the most while rock will be the worst. 





Manipulated variable: We will change the music genre. Jazz, classical, instrumental rock, and no music.

Responding variable: The score of the quiz that is based on the facts we asked them to memorize.

Constant variables: Same song (For same group), same amount of time, same volume, same people (For same group), and same environment.



We are going to do a study and test period with no music to get an average score on the tests.


  • Classical Music: (Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K.545 (1st Mvt) 

  • Instrumental Jazz: Funky Jazz (1:00 to 5:00)

  • Heavy Metal Hard Rock Music Instrumental (1:00-5:00)

  • A Device to play the songs on
  • At least 16 people
  • Study Sheet (printed)
  • Test Questions (printed)




  1. We will divide the people who volunteered into 4 groups. One group will listen to rock first while studying, the second group will listen to classical music while studying, the third group will listen to jazz while studying, the fourth group will listen to no music while studying.We will do 3 study periods so that each group has the chance to try each genera.
  2. During the study period, (we will only give 5 minutes) we will give each student a paper copy of the study page to try and memorize. While they are studying, we will play the song we selected for that group's genre to listen to during study period 1 until the time is up. For example, if group one has been selected to listen to Rock in their 1st study period then we would play the first 5 minutes of “Heavy Metal Hard Rock Music Instrumental” while they study.
  3. After the 5 minutes is up, we will turn off the music, take the study sheets, and let the students leave.
  4. The day after the study period we will bring back the groups (at different times) and hand them a paper copy of the test we created based off of the study sheet. We will give them 5 minutes to complete the test. During that time we will play the same song that we played during the study period the day before.
  5. After the 5 minutes is up, we will collect the tests, let the students go, and record the results. 
  6. We will repeat steps 2-5 until each group has done a study period and a test listening to each genera.



The Classical music group got antsy with 2 minutes left while the no music got restless with 3 minutes left. When we tested rock person number one especially started dancing crazily and didn’t know their stuff when they got tested. Also when we marked the test we found a test subject put that it was hard to study. The first jazz group focused much like the classical music group. While the second jazz group went crazy and where stepping on each other’s feet. 



The group listening to classical while studying tended to get bored after 3 minutes. Meanwhile the group that studied to no music with test 1 only lasted approximately 2 minutes. Our first group studied while listening to rock goofed off by dancing and giggling after 3 minutes. One test subject that listened to rock while studying the study sheet for test 2 told us that it was harder because the loud and heavy music made it hard to focus.






Question Set 1

Question Set 2


Group tested on

Music genre

Average score

Music Genre

Average score

Music Genre

Total of Average score

Group 1







Group 2







Group 3







Group 4








Our findings show that none of the genres were beneficial. In test one we had an average of 100% for Classical, Rock, and Jazz. Then for no music the average score was 75% in test 1. Test 2 showed opposite results. Classical, Rock, and Jazz only had averages of 60% while no music got an average of 80%. The results changing in each test shows us that it does not really matter what you listen to.     

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Our scientific question asked, “What Music Genre Helps Memorize New Scientific Facts?” The answer to this question was it really depends on the person. Most people from our average results worked best with rock, classical, and jazz. Our hypothesis was that jazz would cause the best effect while rock would have the worst effect. We thought this because from our research we found that jazz helps in many ways including setting of alpha waves which helps you relax. Usually when you are relaxed you can remember stuff better as you are not stressed. Then we thought rock would be unhelpful as it is extremely distracting. Our hypothesis was not supported and our results support that it just depends on the person. During experimentation we anticipated to see the people listening to Jazz to have higher results then the others because our research talked about how Rock makes your brain's processing ability slow so that gave us the thought that the people listening to Rock would have a hard time studying. They did struggle in studying but still got the same scores as classical and Jazz. On the other hand, we thought that Classical would do better than it did in the second test. That is because our research says that classical releases dopamine and when dopamine causes relaxation. Relaxation normally boosts memory but did not this time. Our data showed in test one that jazz, rock, and classical had average scores of 100% meanwhile no music had 75% as an average. Test two was different because jazz, rock, and classical had an average of 60% and no music had a greater average of 80%. So in total jazz, rock, and classical music were tied and showed our conclusion that it just depends on the person.


Now that we’ve done all this work, how can it help society? This study can be used in classrooms. If there is an increase of scores of tests that teachers notice when they play music. The teachers should play those music genres so it helps their students. Also This study could be helpful at home for students who know what study music is the best for them.



Sources Of Error

If we were to do this experiment again, we would change somethings. First of all, we would have more people doing the experiment so we could have more people of different skills. We would also try to have each group member not distract each other and we’d also make sure that there wasn’t much background noise. Second, we’d ask the people to see if they knew the answers to the questions before handing them out. Third, we should have stuck with one age group instead of a variety of 10-50 years old. Forth, we would do the tests more times so we would have more accurate results. Lastly, we’d make sure that the people have done a few so they would be more relaxed and not nervous which tends to make them do bad. If we had done all of these things we would have gotten more accurate results.


We would like to thank Miss. Tung for helping us answer our questions and being our adult supervisor. Thank you  TCS  for making this opportunity happen. We would also like to thank our families for supporting us and volunteering to be tested on! Our incredible friends who allowed us to test on them are the only reason why we got this done, thank you! Whoever in the world wrote the articles we researched have our thanks, for those articles helped us finish the longest part of our project. So to every human being on earth who contributed, thank you.