Should Students with ADHD Listen to Music While Doing Homework?

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Should Students with ADHD Listen to Music While Doing Homework?

I get asked a lot about whether students with ADHD should listen to music when doing homework. The answer is… it depends!

Obviously, students with ADHD are prone to auditory distraction. They hear something, like a dog barking, and then they want to focus on that rather than the task at hand.

Music can block out these distractions as long as the music is not distracting itself. So, lyrics can be a problem.

You think about the words and not your math assignment. But not all instrumental music is the same.

Avoid songs that include lots of changes and contrasts. It’s much better to have smooth, repetitive melodies without sharp turns in tempo or surges in volume.

Experiment to find music that works.

Other ways to block auditory distractions are nature sounds, like rainfall, or just plain old white noise. Boring, but effective.

Check out “The Mind Matters Show” for more learning tips! Do you have any questions for Psych in 60? Ask us in the comments below!

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Dr. Craig Pohlman
Craig is a learning expert who has helped thousands of struggling students in his psychology career. He’s written extensively about learning issues, including the book How Can My Kid Succeed in School? He has three sons, so he has been up close and personal with things like cramming for tests, scrambling to finish homework, shuttling kids to sports practices, stuffing backpacks, etc. Follow him on Twitter - @DrCraigPohlman

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