How to Increase Concentration and Retention

Getting an LL.M. from a top-tier American law school with a rigorous curriculum can be a very demanding project, especially when personal and professional commitments are factored in. For that reason, any strategy that lets a practitioner or student use time more effectively should generally be adopted. And one effective strategy is listening to music.

Listening to music can improve concentration and can increase information intake and retention. This is because music can actually reshape your brain.

The Science Behind Music and The Brain

The phenomenon by which parts of the brain are reshaped over time in response to changes in behavior, environment, and neural processes is called neuroplasticity. And while the brain is far more malleable in childhood, the neuroplasticity of certain components of the brain continues well into our adult years.

In a study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers found that:

“[M]usic engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory.”

They observed that when music from the late baroque period was played, the participants’ brains responded with heightened attention during the time in between each movement. For students and professionals, this indicates that listening to music may enhance the brain’s ability to focus and record information learned while preparing for the courtroom or studying for the classroom.

Also, an entire field of instruction called “Accelerated Learning,” developed by Dr. Georgi Lozanov and Evelyna Gateva, was created in part to find ways to incorporate music into learning experiences in order to gain the benefits of the increased concentration and retention that can occur.

The Music

Due to the phenomena, students and professionals alike would be well served to find ways to incorporate music into their lives, careers, and studies. To help you get started, we’ve put together a Spotify playlist so that you can try out the style of music used in many studies. The playlist includes works by Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven and Handel, among others. Give it a listen during your workday or while studying, and let us know what you think. If you find it helpful, feel free to share this playlist with your colleagues, friends and/or family.

An Attention Enhancing Study Playlist provided by @WashULaw, an online LL.M Degree

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An Attention Enhancing Study Playlist provided by @WashULaw, an online LL.M Degree