If you like playing music to help you study, choosing the right tracks can be vital to your productivity levels. It may be a challenge to stay away from hot hits with catchy lyrics but they can distract you, especially if you find yourself singing along to the lyrics.
Of course, the choice of music to help study will depend on various factors such as your personality, study habits and the type of genres you enjoy. The best songs to study to are able to calm you down and help you to concentrate. If you’re finding it difficult to find good songs to study to here are some suggestions for tracks that could be helpful.
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1. Classical music – Symphony No. 40 in G minor, First Movement – Mozart
Classical music is harmonious and creates a peaceful study environment. It is often recommended as one of the best genres for students who report that it calms them down and increases their productivity.
As a student, writing will be part of your daily schedule and classical music is a great genre of music for writers. The last thing you need when you’re writing is more words in your head and classical music, with its calm instrumentals, provides a great way of staying focused.
Even if you’re ambivalent about classical music and you don’t really like or dislike it, it can be effective. You will receive the benefit of its peaceful, harmonious qualities without being distracted by it.
2. Nature sounds – Relaxing Sounds of Nature – Calmsound
Soundtracks of waterfalls, waves crashing or rain falling can be so peaceful that people often use them to help them get to sleep at night. However, these sounds are also known for increasing concentration levels. Go online and you will find countless nature sound songs to study to, including
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that natural sounds can enhance cognitive functioning and optimize the ability to concentrate. Students may want to write academic assignments to the sounds of nature for these reasons.
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3. Timed-tempo – Weightless – Marconi Union
Students appear to feel less stressed and much more physically relaxed when they listen to music that plays around 60 beats per minute.
Mindlab International, a market research team, tested 15 different songs and found a song that created a greater state of relaxation than any of the other music tested. The song, Weightless, by Marconi Union, was created for a spa with the help of a therapeutic sound specialist. The tempo begins at 60 beats per minute and this slows down gradually to about 50 beats per minute. While listening, your heartbeat starts to match the beat of the music, making it is one of the best songs to study to if you find it difficult to relax.
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4. Ambient and electronic music – Brian Eno’sMusic for Airports
This album was specifically designed to relax travelers at airports but it might be the track you need to help you concentrate. Brian Eno was deliberately attempting to create music that was interesting and yet ignorable. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and it will help you to focus without distracting you, making it one of the great songs to study to.
Electronic music is a varied genre, including slow ambient music with long drones and fast electronic dance music with quick beats. Like classical music, electronic music can also have a relaxing effect that makes your mind more receptive to new information.
Volume is often more important than genre and a moderate level of ambient noise can enhance your performance on creative tasks, whereas music at a high volume can be very distracting.
5. Classic rock – Tommy – The Who
While it may not seem immediately apparent, many of the great classic rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s created some great classic rock to listen to while studying. Tommy might be the album of songs to study to if Beethoven and Bach don’t do anything for you. Tommy was a rock opera by The Who with some great instrumental beauty and recurring riffs and lines.
Studying to classic rock may certainly not be suitable for everyone but the connections in your brain responsible for internal focus tend to be most active when you listen to your favorite music, despite the genre.
A final word
Since we all have different personalities, study habits and music preferences, finding good songs to study to can require a certain amount of experimentation. Some people prefer peace and quiet to focus on their studies, but others find that silence is unsettling.
The best music for you may also depend on your specific study activities. For instance, you may do better at reading while listening to music that relaxes you but solving math problems may require something more up-tempo. It is worth experimenting with various music styles to find out what works best for you while accomplishing various study tasks. So why not start creating that study playlist now!
Jeremy Raynolds is an academic counselor and a career advisor who’s on a mission to make studying process effective through use of technological means. He reviews edutech devices, apps and software to come up with the best ones. In his free time, he works on his music blog, learns playing different music instruments and practices yoga.