The Best Music for Studying: 6 Genres to Help You Concentrate
- April 3, 2019
Students are always looking for ways to improve their study habits and one of the most popular study aids is music. Unfortunately, the music you listen to on a daily basis may not be very effective for exam prep. On the other hand, there is no one genre of music that works for everyone. Just like everyone has different study methods, one person’s music preference may not work for another. Volume is a major factor as well, as listening to loud music is much more likely to be distracting, regardless of genre.
Fortunately, there are certain genres of music that have been shown to increase concentration and motivation. The best music for studying still depends a lot on personal preference, but the six genres below are good places to start.
Mozart’s music is said to improve mental performance, although many studies have refuted this claim. However, this isn’t to say that listening to Mozart while studying is without merit—it just has to work for you. Some students will concentrate better with simple instrumentation, while others will prefer the power of a full orchestra. We recommend experimenting to find the best music for studying. YouTube and Spotify have many classical music playlists , so take a look and find some that work for you.
Discover: 5 Study Tips to Help Prepare For Exams
Many popular rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd , have also experimented with instrumental tracks over the years. Spotify has an excellent playlis t of these tracks, though you can also find some great ones on YouTube.
Much like classical music, there’s a good chance you may not like jazz music—or at least think you don’t. Surprisingly, this can actually be a good thing, as you’re much less likely to be distracted by music you’re not highly engaged with. Do some experimenting and see if jazz works for you!
Learn: How to Use Music for Stress Relief
Create Your Own Playlist
Source: Digital Trends
The truth is that everyone responds differently to music. A genre one person finds motivating may be distracting to another. You may even find you can’t study with background music at all! This is why our top recommendation is to do what works for you. If you can only concentrate while listening to heavy metal, then put it on. Better yet, make a playlist!
Having a playlist of your favourite music ready to go also saves you time, as you won’t have to stop in the middle of your studies to find new music. A good way to test whether your study music is getting you results is to take a break and review your study material. If you find you can’t remember much, it might be time to switch up your playlist or turn off the music altogether.
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The Best Study Music: What to Listen to While Studying
Get five suggestions of music genres to listen to while studying. plus, learn why music can help you focus..
August 24, 2022
The Best Study Music
Timed tempos, instrumental ambient sounds, nature sounds, modern electronic, how to use music to help you study, keep your volume in check., plan out your playlist., include frequent breaks., understand that studying is more important than the music., you might also like.
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The best music for studying: 10 amazing playlists.
concentration - Music For Studying - study online - Study Playlists
When you’re studying online, you can sometimes feel isolated. With Open Colleges, we provide opportunities for our students to chat in the Open Space community with each other – but sometimes chatting to others isn’t what you’re after. Sometimes, the best company you can hope for when studying is music. According to scientists, the best music for studying can even help you concentrate…
The best music for studying is the music you enjoy. Regardless of our recommendations, your enjoyment of music ultimately comes down to taste. However, science does say that music can aid our memory recall and help us to pay attention – according to a study by Stanford University in 2007.
Further studies by the Imperial College London found that certain genres affect genders differently, with men more likely to lose concentration when listening to rock music, but more likely to focus when listening to classical. Women in the study were not negatively impacted by the same music.
Ultimately, this proves that music can be subjective. The best music for studying depends on your mood and your taste. Here are our picks for the best music playlists you can stream on YouTube, making them perfect companions to our online study platform. Almost all are instrumental – so there’s no need to be distracted by lyrics.
Ready? Simply scroll down, find a station you like, hit play and start studying!
Classical: The best music for concentration
As far as concentration goes, science dictates that classical music is the best for aiding studying. This playlist is around 5 hours long and features Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and other famous composers. Set it to play and start studying!
Calming Piano Music
The piano is one of the world’s most beautiful instruments – beloved by everyone from classical composers to modern rock stars. It’s capable of incredible range and variation, think ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ compared to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. This playlist offers 24/7 streaming of soft, serene piano music that will help you to either relax or study.
Another genre that’s famed for its ability to aid concentration, Jazz might not be something you’ve considered before. This playlist streams 24/7 and contains no interruptions or ad breaks, making it perfect for your studies.
This playlist covers 10 hours of guitar-led folk and indie music that is calming and at times, beautiful. If you’re settling down for a longer study session, this collection is the perfect choice for any fans of indie or folk style music but find actual singing distracting.
If you’re more into the sound of guitars and drums, you’ll enjoy this soft rock compilation. Easy to listen to and evoking memories of classic rock’s greatest songs, this is the ideal playlist if you love the sound of older rock and roll.
Hip Hop Fans: Low Fi Hip Hop
If you’re a fan of relaxing hip-hop, you’ll enjoy this channel from ChilledCow, which broadcasts beats (minus lyrics) all day long. No downtime means you can load it up whenever you want to study and slip into a relaxing mood.
Electronic Fans: House Music Study Playlist
Like your nights out in the club, or a fan of music that gets you moving? This playlist is the perfect selection of chilled out house music that still retains the tempo and rhythm you’ll want to tap your foot to. If you need to produce any work such as an essay or writing, the higher rhythm of house music can help aid productivity.
Big fan of 80s sci-fi? Fancy a more ‘Blade Runner’ style selection of study music? This playlist is a high tempo collection of retro electronica that is perfect for fans of cyberpunk and synth music. It’s the ideal soundtrack for a late night of studying.
A fusion of Jazz and hip-hop style instrumentals, this sort of playlist is almost guaranteed to get your creativity firing. Designed to feel as though you’re sitting at a desk all cosy and ready to study, this 54-minute playlist is perfect for introverts who need to concentrate.
Something Different: Space Ambience
For our final selection, we’ve included this 24/7 radio station of ambient ‘space’ sounds – futuristic electronic music that’s meant to evoke a feeling of wonder. It’s ideal for pondering big questions, and as a result, studying. Unlike the other suggestions above, which we’ve tried to tailor to genre tastes, this playlist is more of a genre on its own. Try it out, it might make your study experience out of this world!
If this music has got you in the mood to study, why not enrol in any of our online courses? Load up one of these playlists and study online with Open Colleges, anywhere, anytime.
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Studying to Music Can Put Your Brain in the Right Frame of Mind
What do Spotify, Pandora, iTunes and YouTube all have in common? If you said they’re some of your favorite go-to sights to hear your favorite music, then you may want to tune in more often. Did you know that studying to the right kind of music can make you feel less stressed, more focused and dare we say it, smarter? It’s true.
Let’s face it, no one likes to study. But how cool is it that music can be just what you need to get through the books easier while making your studying more productive? Pretty cool, right? Want to hear more? Sit back, grab your headphones and learn how studying to the right kind of music may be more than just music to your ears.
Benefits of studying to music
Do you listen to music while you study, or do you prefer total silence? The jury is out on which is better since everyone is different; however, several research studies are proving that listening to the right kind of music can put your mind into study mode.
Here are some of the benefits of tuning in to the right tunes:
- Relaxes the mind
- Increases concentration
- Lessens distractions
- Improves focus
- Improves performance in high-pressure situations, such as mid-terms and finals week
Best genres to study to
Music is universal, and everyone’s tastes are different. You might be experiencing that right now with a roommate or a group of friends. What soothes one person might drive the other one to pull their hair out. Sound familiar? Since we all have different personalities, music preferences and even study habits you’re probably wondering which type of music is best. We’ve done the homework for you (you’re welcome) with some suggested genres and examples of each that may help put your brain in the right frame of mind. Take a listen.
Classical music—Mind-boosting effect helps with mathematics
Before you dismiss classical music as “not your thing,” it’s worth a try. You’ve most likely heard of Mozart, one of our world’s greatest classical composers, but have you heard of the Mozart Effect ? A group of studies found listening to Mozart can cause a temporary “enhancement of spatial temporal reasoning performance,” which means the ability to think through long-term, more abstract solutions to logical problems. In fact, the Mozart Effect has little to do with listening to Mozart and more to do with listening to music that activates a certain part of the brain. Even Albert Einstein was a fan of Mozart!
When it’s crunch time and you’re burning the midnight oil, try listening to Baroque classical music. Composers such as Bach, Vivaldi and Handel are known for their up-beat music composed of 60 beats-per-minute. Studies revealed those who listened to music that played at 60 beats-per-minute showed a dramatic reduction in stress and an increased sense of relaxation It’s become a popular choice when you need to get work done.
Here are some benefits of listening to classical music:
- Improves test scores
- Reduces learning time
- Improves creativity and clarity
- Integrates both sides of the brain for more efficient learning
- Raises IQ scores
Sounds of nature—Keeps your brain engaged by increasing concentration
Have you ever tried studying in a noisy room? It can be annoying and frustrating to say the least. Calming music Nature sounds such as waterfalls, rain and the seashore, for example, can be extremely effective in masking white noise.
Here are some benefits or studying to the calming music of nature sounds:
- Masks voices and white noise which can be distracting
- Enhances cognitive functioning
- Optimizes concentration
Songs without lyrics—Great choice when reading and writing
The last thing you need is more words in your head when you’re reading your textbooks or writing a paper. Listening to songs without lyrics is a great way to stay focused without distraction.
Brian Eno’s Music for Airports —Chill-out electronic music for serious studying and deep concentration
You may want to crank this up for your next cramming session before your big exam. This album was specifically designed to relax stressed out travelers at airports. It’s also been shown as an effective tool when it’s time for serious studying and deep concentration.
Creating a playlist
It may sound obvious, but research revealed brain function decreases when you listen to music and sounds you don’t enjoy, making it difficult to focus and concentrate. So, be sure to choose music and sounds that make you happy. Here are some tips for creating your playlist:
- Create your playlist in advance so you’re not fumbling to find a new song every few minutes.
- Keep your playlist to around 40-50 minutes—this is a great reminder to take a study break when it’s over. Plus, it helps you plan your study sessions to meet your concentration level.
- Avoid listening to the radio. Dialogue between radio personalities and commercials can be distracting.
- Turn it down. Listening to music at a moderate level is best.
With the new semester kicking off, now is the best time to start creating your playlist so it’s ready to go when you need it. Happy listening!
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The best music to listen to while you work or study
They say classical music makes the best study tunes, but are we really limited to Bach and Mozart?
You've probably heard that classical music is good for studying, taking tests and doing creative work. This idea stems from the " Mozart Effect ," a term coined in 1993 when scientists discovered that listening to Mozart's Sonata for 10 minutes resulted in better spatial reasoning skills -- a particular type of intelligence that involves visualizing and manipulating images in your brain.
The findings in that 1993 study got blown out of proportion, however, and classical music became synonymous with intelligence: so synonymous, in fact, that in 1998, then-Governor of Georgia Zell Miller proposed sending a classical cassette tape to every baby born in the state, free of charge, so that the babies would become smart.
Even though the Mozart Effect has been more or less debunked in the time since, some experts still argue that music can offer other benefits to our brains -- namely, concentration and productivity.
Read more: How to create the best exercise playlist for better workouts
How can music help us focus?
Consider these few reasons why music might help you plow through your to-do list:
Elicits positive emotions: People tend to be more productive and efficient when happy ( recent research confirms this ), and the right kind of music can put a little pep in your step. People who listen to music, in fact, may be happier overall than people who don't listen to music.
Makes you feel upbeat: Sometimes, work and life just feel drab. If you've been feeling bored, a happy tune can make lackluster tasks seem more appealing.
Drowns out other noise: If you've ever worked in a coffee shop or an office with an open floor plan, you've probably been driven up the wall by the sounds of someone sniffling or shuffling their feet. Listening to music, particularly through a good pair of headphones , can drown out distracting noises.
Read more: Best music streaming: Spotify, Apple Music and more, compared
If you can't stand the sounds of your work environment, use music to drown them out.
Can music really make you more productive?
Research on music for productivity is inconclusive, to say the least. Some studies show that background music can improve your episodic memory and overall cognitive performance , yet other research suggests that background music can actually be a detriment to your ability to focus and learn . Still others say that it has no effect one way or another .
There are factors that affect whether background music works, too: Some research suggests that background music needs to be free of lyrics in order to promote productivity ; other studies say simply that whether music aids in concentrating depends on how much a worker likes or dislikes the music .
Note that the studies discussed in this section measure something different than the aforementioned Mozart Effect. While the Mozart Effect measures the ability of music to enhance intelligence after the music stops playing, research on music for productivity investigates background music, or music that plays while your attention is primarily on something else (your work).
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What kind of music helps us focus?
With the fact that there's no real scientific consensus in mind, it's worth looking at the handful of research studies on different types of music and their ability to aid in concentration.
Despite the muting of the Mozart Effect, some research still suggests that classical music can help people learn and focus (just not as impressively so as the 1990s would have you believe). For example, one study found that college students who listened to classical music during lecture learned more than those who listened to the same lecture without classical music. Some research suggests, however, that classical (or any type of complex) music is best when performing simple tasks , rather than complicated ones.
Ambient music is a style of gentle, tone-based music that utilizes ambient sounds like the hum of an air conditioner or the buzz of TV static. Ambient music often lacks a true beat, usually doesn't have lyrics, and ends up blending into the preexisting background noise -- this is why ambient sounds like white noise are often used at sleep aids .
In terms of focus and productivity, one study found that white noise can help people with ADHD ignore noisy environments and perform tasks with more efficiency. There's still a lot of work to do, however, when it comes to understanding when ambient noise helps and when it doesn't , according to recent research from the University of Alberta.
We already know that spending time in nature is good for our physical health. It turns out that listening to nature sounds, even when trapped in an office, can boost your mood and promote deep focus . Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York found that soothing nature sounds, such as rainfall, can mask intrusive sounds and help workers stay on task.
This Nature Sounds playlist on Spotify has more than one million monthly listeners, a good indication that the playlist works for something, be it relaxation, sleep or focus.
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What type of music to avoid
Just as particular styles of music can help you focus and get things done, other styles can sabotage your efforts no matter how strong your work ethic. There's no research that explicitly compares the effects of different types of music on productivity, but most people can probably agree that it's best to avoid distracting styles, such as dubstep music and heavy metal, while working.
Truly, though, it all comes down to personal preference. And it's not as if experimenting with background music can really hurt -- we're talking about music here, not whether a food additive is safe or not . The worst outcome is a slow day at work and perhaps a bit of scolding from your boss.
You should know yourself well enough to understand what types of music and sounds help you focus, and which ones don't. If you find yourself struggling to focus with '80s classic rock in the background, maybe it's a good idea to turn off the Guns N' Roses and switch to something with less electric guitar.
It's worth experimenting to find out what kind of music helps you focus. I personally can't listen to any music, regardless of style or tempo, that has lyrics. I've tried and tried and failed. I just get too caught up in the words and can't concentrate on the task at hand.
Instead, I've found that I focus much better when listening to soft electronic music or nature sounds (particularly rain and waterfalls). Some of my most productive days have been the result of simply switching on a floor fan to block out distracting noises.
In the end, as with all things, do what works best for you.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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The Best Music For Studying: What To Listen To While Studying
Different people have unique learning abilities. What might work well for you might not be the same for your colleagues.
On the same note, what might work well for your friends might be the complete opposite for you. This is one of the reasons why students should take sufficient time to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
To some students, music may motivate them to concentrate on their studies, while it might distract others. There have been heated debates about whether music can help students focus on their studies for the longest time. If you love listening to music while studying, I am sure that you might have heard of Youtube, iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, which have a wide range of music.
There is no doubt that the majority of the students do not enjoy studying. However, it is surprising how most students have less difficulty revising for their examinations or completing their assignments while listening to music.
According to researchers, some of the benefits of listening to music while studying include: it relaxes the mind, enhances concentration, minimizes distractions, and improves concentration, especially when a person is under high pressure. Generally, once in a while, as a student, you might have difficulty completing your assignments because of unavoidable reasons.
Whenever I find myself in a similar situation, I usually seek help to write my essays from reputable custom writing companies, such as Peachy Essay. This article will discuss the best music for studying and what students should listen to while studying. You can listen to or download from these music sites .
Most students who love listening to music while studying always prefer instrumentals. A survey conducted on the students indicated that the majority of the learners prefer listening to music containing little or no lyrics.
One of the reasons students prefer listening to instrumental music is that they are less distracting. Therefore, students do not have to sing the song’s lyrics while still studying. Suppose you are wondering which is the best band.
In that case, you might consider listening to Polyphia and Explosions in the Sky, which can aid a person to concentrate on their studies for a long duration without being tempted to sing to the lyrics. I find it fascinating that instrumental songs are usually based on non-traditional songs, which start strongly and then increase to a crescendo.
As a student, you should never doubt the powerful impact of an excellent retro playlist. In most cases, when a person hears of the word retro, they usually tend to think that it is music that was written or played hundreds of years in the past. Most students do not know that there are significant advantages that come with listening to retro music. For one, such music aids in improving sleep patterns and reducing stress levels.
There is no doubt that there are many composers of classical music. However, when it comes to the best music to listen to when studying, students might consider listening to classical music with a Mozart effect. Scientists believe that the Mozart effect aids students in improving their mental performance as well as enhancing their concentration levels. However, as mentioned above, students should take their time to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Indeed, different people have unique learning abilities, and what might seem simple to one person might be the complete opposite to another person. Some scholars will study best when they listen to music containing the power of a full orchestra, while others prefer music containing simple instrumentations. If you have difficulty finding the ideal music to help you study effectively, you might consider experimenting and listening to different genres.
The music genre denotes everything from atmospheric, slow, or electronic dance music. Any of the three types of music will work differently for different people. It is essential to note that ambient music usually covers a massive range of music. First and foremost, electronic music is one of the popular songs listened to by mostly the university and college students.
Most students state that they enjoy studying while listening to electronic music. If you are wondering about platforms where you can access a wide range of music, you might consider checking out YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes, among many others.
If you are among the people who easily get distracted by listening to music because of the lyrics, it would be best to avoid listening to Rnb music. Otherwise, the chances are high you might spend too much time singing the lyrics of a song instead of studying.
However, if you desire to listen to a piece of relaxing music, I recommend listening to Rnb music. Otherwise, if you listen to this genre of music while studying, the chances are high that you might end up singing the lyrics of the songs or sleeping instead of studying.
There is no doubt that most people, especially the students, usually misunderstand the Jazz music genre. Apparently, the majority of the people think that it is loud music that consists of artists striving to outperform each other.
While it is true that in most cases, Jazz music concentrates on improvisation, which has led to the creation of many roaring and complicated music, it is essential to note that music made of lower tempo is ideal for studying. Similar to classical music, there are high chances that most people might not enjoy jazz music.
However, most people are usually left surprised when they realize that the music genre is excellent for studying. Therefore, if you have difficulty settling for the best music to use for your studies, you might consider trying Jazz music.
In conclusion, different people have unique abilities. Therefore, what might work well for you might be the opposite of another person. While some people state that music helps them concentrate on their studies, others state that it is a distraction. Hopefully, by reading this article, you will better understand the genre of music that will help you focus on your studies.
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These are the best music types to engage your brain
We know listening to music makes us feel great. Nothing is better than being in the zone, or in the right frame of mind, or boosting us to just run, benchpress or get our creative juices flowing faster. The same applies when it comes to the best music to study with.
As we learn more about how our mind responds to music, we can tailor our Spotify playlists better to different tasks. Maybe EDM works better for cross-referencing, lo fi fits reading better.
Johns Hopkins University researchers have done work on jazz performers improvising inside an fMRI machine to see which areas of the brain light up. They found that jazz musicians make unique improvisations by turning off inhibition and turning up creativity.
This is on top of existing research that has found listening to music reduces anxiety, blood pressure, and improves sleep quality, mood, and memory. Other studies also demonstrate music activates the most diverse networks of the human brain.
“If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool,” says a Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist (that’s a medical specialist focused on the ears, nose, and throat) .
To keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listen to or play music. Source: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP
The vibrations that travel through the air get into the ear canal and are transmitted into an electrical signal. This then travels through the auditory nerve to the brain stem where it reassembles into what we know as music.
Before you open Spotify, note that not all sounds are created equal when it comes to stimulating us in all the right ways when studying. Below we take a look at the best types of music to study with:
This uses your brain’s natural ability to fill in sensory gaps through two different frequencies into each ear (through headphones). It causes the brain to detect the difference between the two and create its own frequency.
This is a single frequency turned on and off at a rapid pace (you don’t need headphones for this). Research on this has shown that the brain functions at its prime during the silence between the sounds which is why drum beats are so entrancing.
Not only is this a popular type of music to stimulate the brain, it’s also great for destressing. Getting into a state of meditation will lead your body into calmness which will help tackle the tough assignments — we recommend daily meditation (HeadSpace and Calm are our favourite apps) for overall better performance in school.
Nature and rain sounds
It’s been shown that nature sounds relax our nervous system. This could be through sounds of the rain, ocean waves on the beach or even the jungle.
The Mozart Effect is a famous method used to study. Why? Listening to classical music when you study arouses your brain to focus. There are also several studies done where students listening to classical music did better on quizzes than students with no music.
This is where video games and movies come in. Video game music is designed to keep you absorbed and focused — which is also great for memorising. When your brain is focused on just melody, it’s taking a break from trying to break down lyrics of a song and thus increases your performance.
If you’re one of those lucky ones who can concentrate on music with lyrics then why not create your own playlist? Or play one to dance during your study breaks — we highly recommend this.
Using your favourite feel-good tunes will not only get you in the mood to complete your tasks (from studying to working out) but it will also give you a little boost of energy while engaging your brain. Queen is a good candidate for an uplifting playlist!
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What’s the Best Music for Studying?
By Laura Bridgestock
Are you one of those students who picks a playlist before even reaching for a book? Or do you find any kind of background noise – even your favorite band – distracting when trying to get down to studies?
The question of whether or not listening to music while studying can boost your performance remains hotly debated. However, the bad news for those in the headphones-keep-my-brain-alive camp is that most of the recent research suggests silence is actually the best study setting. You may be unsurprised to hear that researchers have also found that presenting these findings seems to have pretty much no effect on the behavior of students convinced of the benefits of music for studying !
Music and the brain: What does the research say?
Sadly, it now seems pretty clear that the widely proclaimed “Mozart effect” was a myth almost entirely concocted by the media; listening to one particular composer or genre is highly unlikely to transform your intellectual powers. So if you’ve been force-feeding your ears sonatas in the hope of improving your exam scores, cease and desist! This kind of connection between music and the brain is a tabloid-created fable.
However, psychologist Francis Rauscher, whose research on music and the brain inadvertently prompted the whole “play classical music to your unborn child” craze, says she still believes that the right connection between music and the brain can improve certain cognitive skills (like spatial intelligence) for a short time period (about 10 minutes). She also says the most effective music will vary depending on the person. In short: “If you hate Mozart you're not going to find a Mozart Effect. If you love Pearl Jam, you're going to find a Pearl Jam effect.”
On the other hand, the research of Dr Nick Perham , based at the University of Wales, suggests that listening to music while studying – regardless of how much you love or hate the sound – is likely to impede “serial-recall” skills, required for tasks ranging from mental arithmetic to language learning. He’s also found that music containing lyrics is especially disruptive during any task involving reading – a point also argued by Stanford University professor Clifford Nass.
However, both Perham and Nass acknowledge the potential of music to help create the perfect state of mind for studying, somewhere in between relaxation and excitement. So it seems that listening to some favorite music before commencing studies could help, even if silence is golden during the actual brainwork.
Best music for studying: What do our bloggers say?
Despite the efforts of academia to persuade us that switching off the tunes will really help switch on our intellects, many students remain convinced that their headphones are an essential study tool. Here’s what three of our TopUniversities student bloggers had to say about the best music for studying…
Aliya: Match the tempo to the task
"Studying has different appearances. Sometimes it requires active approach. Sometimes there is a need to concentrate, to be patient and diligent in order to revise material or learn something by heart; in this case nothing else but classical music is a helpful companion for me. Though there are some occasions when I like studying in complete silence, I can remember several bright moments which involved formulas to be used for problem-solving, textbooks to be read or notes to be typed up, when my brain was stimulated by rock ‘n’ roll beats."
Zain: Save the music for study breaks
"As far as music is concerned, I am generally more inclined towards listening to soothing and soft songs. However, when I am studying I strictly refrain from listening to any melodies as I am easily distracted. That said, I do enjoy some short study breaks with snacks and a song or two just to refresh my mind. I also like to listen to some motivational songs and those that have really strong lyrics; Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing being one of them…"
Felix: Give yourself the right vibe
"Listening to music while studying is a lot like self-administering a chill pill; you have to know what type of music you need to work best in your current state of mind. Because emotions are varied, you may (like me) have many studying playlists. Over the past eight years, I have built six playlists for different scenarios, from “you got this bro” to “I would murder the physical manifestation of this subject” (actual title of playlist invented especially for organic chemistry, which is quite ironic if you think about it) and everything in between.
But the playlist I use the most is “chill/relax”. The overall description would be atmospheric music without vocals. The most vocal song in the list is an Enya song… where the words blend harmoniously with the background. From my experience, if you can sing along with the song, then it makes for a terrible chill/relax studying song. A genre which is a good source of music for studying to is chill step (please don’t write me off as a musical degenerate), which creates an upbeat trance sort of vibe. There are lots of great and not so great playlists on YouTube to sample.
But the single best genre I have found for providing good music for studying is traditional Spanish guitar, specifically flamenco music. It has worked wonders (and unbelievable miracles) on some of my test scores. A good place to start is with Paco de Lucia, or just search for 'amazing Spanish guitar'."
What do you think is the best music for studying? Do you prefer complete silence, or do your favorite tunes help you get into your mental study zone? Share your own anecdotal findings about music and the brain in the comments below.
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This article was originally published in April 2014 . It was last updated in March 2021
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The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums . She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including ' How Do Students Use Rankings? '
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