George Hammond-Hagan is an Ivor Novello award-winner and founder Studytracks. Studytracks V1.0 was launched in February 2016, allowing students to revise for exams on the go, in an enjoyable and effective way. The innovative, free app merges music with study materials, using lyrics relating to a specific exam theme or topic. At the end of every track, learners can then test their recall using the in-app quiz.
At present the app features 46 songs within various subject categories for GCSE revision though it will be fully loaded from September with over 350 tracks (A & AS Level subjects coming soon). Studytracks works by turning topics into easy to remember “hooks”. As the student listens to the music, these hooks become embedded in their memory - just like the lyrics to a song - so that when something triggers the hook (like a word or phase in an exam question) students are able to recall the information easily and effectively.
With the influx of technology available in today’s digital age, it’s no surprise that both the current and future generations of students have a natural curiosity for using and exploring the latest technology and gadgets. It’s part-and-parcel of their everyday lives; they’ve grown up with it and often know more about tech than the older generation, including their parents and teachers.
Everyone’s brains are made up of the same things: neurons, chemical hormones, electrical signals and so on, and, broadly speaking, we all learn in the same way. It’s not until we delve a little deeper and question the specifics of how exactly each person learns that the difference becomes evident and immeasurable. Some people, for example, need a completely silent environment to learn more effectively, yet earlier this year a new study carried out by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences showed that a series of play lessons with music improved nine-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds.