The revision you just can’t get out of your head


Studytracks was created by award-winning songwriter George Hammond-Hagan with a simple purpose - to help his son study more effectively. Seeing that music and media was something his teenage son couldn’t live without (as with most teenagers!), he began creating Physics, Chemistry and Biology tracks that his son could listen to on the way to school. Now, just over a year later, Studytracks has over 165,000 users, including teachers who are using the platform to help raise student achievement and increase student engagement.

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Have you ever had a song stuck in your head for what seems like days? The same words and melody looping over and over again? While it might be frustrating, your brain is actually doing some really amazing things as you recall Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance for the hundredth time that day. When a song gets stuck in your head it may have something to do with our involuntary memory, which encodes music in many different ways, helping us to remember a tune we’ve only heard once at our niece’s 11th birthday party. It’s a powerful concept; try applying this to an educational setting, and we can achieve considerable results.

Studytracks helps students connect and retain information from over 45 subjects. By weaving together popular music tastes and school curriculums, Studytracks helps students to learn new information, and allows teachers to relay topics in a new and exciting way.

The science: Hook, line and sinker

Typically, a whole song doesn’t get stuck in your head. Only a small part - the hook - gets played on repeat. Studytracks takes advantage of the hook by writing lyrics that are repeated throughout the song, highlighting key information from the subject matter. These repetitive lyrics used Studytracks offer a great way to learn, as it encourages your brain to encode information in several different ways, increasing the likelihood of you remembering it.

Studytracks uses the melodies of each song, adding curriculum-aligned lyrics, along with images and written words to reinforce the information. How much something comes into our involuntary memory is likely related to the amount it is encoded. The combination of rhyme, rhythm and a melody can help people retain information for much longer than if the same information was written on a piece of paper.

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For example, after listening to Studytracks, 88% of students in one class retained or improved their scores on a ‘fill in the blanks’ quiz, due largely to the brain’s ability to easily absorb music.

Songs have been used for generations to tell stories and relay information between people. Our brains are hardwired to remember and enjoy music. Studytracks uses specific musical elements to increase recollection. Songs are more likely to stay with you if they contain melodic contours, where the first phrase rises in pitch and the second falls, like in the beginning of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger. Similar to this, the tempo and beats used in the Studytracks’ songs are designed to help increase the chance of memorising lyrics.

So how does it work in the classroom?

Teachers are able to use the new Studytracks’ School Platform to create playlists that link together specific topics, helping students to focus on one particular theme or subject, seamlessly integrating music into their revision and study. The central system gives teachers a way to track student progress and engagement. Teachers can assign homework which is then sent directly to each student’s phone, and automatically grade tasks, providing them more time to identify areas of development.

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Studytracks not only helps students’ retention and their overall scores; it makes learning material more exciting and enjoyable. Learners are more likely to do their homework and study more if they enjoy the way the material is presented. Studytracks gives students the necessary information in a way that is totally different and fun. And with any luck, the next time a song gets stuck in your head, it will be a Studytracks tune!

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