4 Ways to Add Music to An eLearning Course


When I was in high school, my European Literature teacher would often play CDs of Chopin piano concertos during exams. He believed music stimulated our brains, helped us focus and even helped combat test anxiety. Most of us had no clue who Chopin was, having grown up during the 90s grunge era, but there were zero complaints, even from the orneriest of students.

While we found it odd initially (even though this particular teacher was known for his sometimes-unconventional methods and was often spotted practicing Tai Chi in the choir room) I think we all were pleasantly surprised with the results.

While most teachers didn’t allow music in the classroom, he was onto something.

It’s Scientifically Proven. Music Enhances Learning

Music and learning is hardly a new concept. In fact, researcher and educator Chris Brewer has published eight books on the topic and continues to study the effects of music on learning, medical treatment and more. Her research has found or reinforced the idea that music in a learning environment can

  • set and maintain a positive mood.
  • elevate energy levels.
  • reduce stress and frustration.
  • support concentration.
  • motivate and inspire.
  • establish an emotional connection to aid retention.

Furthermore, she points out “music helps us learn because it will

  • establish a positive learning state.
  • create a desired atmosphere.
  • build a sense of anticipation.
  • energize learning activities.
  • change brain wave states.
  • focus concentration.
  • increase attention.
  • improve memory.
  • facilitate a multi-sensory learning experience.
  • release tension.
  • enhance imagination.
  • align groups.
  • develop rapport.
  • provide inspiration and motivation.
  • add an element of fun.
  • accentuate theme-oriented units.

(Johns Hopkins School of Education)

This seems like a lot of benefits, doesn’t it? Almost too good to be true? It’s not. Think about it - we all listen to music, whether to go for a run, fall asleep, soothe a fussy child (or pet!) or tune out office noise when you have a long to-do list. Imagine how you might be able to bring those same benefits to a training atmosphere.

Adding Music to eLearning Courses Increases Effectiveness

It’s suggested you do a bit of reading in order to fully understand the science behind music’s application in learning, i.e. what genre works best in different scenarios, how different types of music can impact different personality types and learning styles, and more.

But to get you started, here are a few ways to incorporate music in an eLearning course:

  • Set the Tone - Your learners could be coming into your course from any activity. You don’t want them to start their training session distracted. Kick off your eLearning course with mood-setting music to help them settle in and prepare to start.
  • Enforce Important Points - Remember Schoolhouse Rock? Children of the 70s remember grammar rules to this day because of this TV show’s catchy jingles.
  • Enhance What’s Happening on the Screen - Every episode of the reality TV show, The Osbournes, added quirky, bumbling music to accompany Ozzy’s equally quirky, bumbling behavior. It made the viewing experience that much more entertaining.
  • Improve Concentration - As complementary music shifts throughout the course, it will help hold the viewer’s attention and improve concentration during assessments.


If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland