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Songs to study to

Struggling to get in the zone when you hit the books? Adding some background tunes to your study routine could be the key to boosting your concentration and productivity.

While listening to music can aid study efforts and information absorption, choosing the right music is crucial, since the wrong tracks can ruin your focus.

Why background beats to hit the books?

According to the brainiacs at Focus@Will (a neuroscience-meets-music online productivity service), unfamiliar or instrumental music can maximise your focus and extend your concentration time. In addition, listening to music can calm you down and help you relax to get into a study mind-set.

However, they warn that mainstream music can lower comprehension and create distractions as those tracks are “designed to connect with you intellectually and emotionally”. In other words, if you’re studying to your favourite party playlist, you may be thinking more about the great times you had dancing to each track at that New Year’s Eve bash rather than the task at hand.

Songs to study to

Study music dos and don’ts

When it comes to choosing the right music for studying, keep in mind these three tips:

  1. It’s best to skip the radio – DJ and ad dialogue may disrupt you.
  2. Make playlists that will last for the duration of your set study time so you won’t have the distraction of choosing the next album or song.
  3. Keep music at a reasonably low volume – you want ambient background music, not a rave environment.

What would Mario do?

Would you believe that listening to video game music is on the list of recommendations when you’re in need of serious concentration? Video game music is instrumental and void of lyrics so it won’t disturb you, but it’s also up-tempo enough to keep you motivated.

Don’t’ worry about digging out your Nintendo though – simply search for Video Game Soundtracks via Spotify, or Video Game Music Radio via Pandora. These quirky playlists include arcade and gaming classics from Final Fantasy, Mass Effect and World of Warcraft.

Get your Mozart on

Most people have heard of the Mozart Effect and know that listening to classical music while studying can be beneficial. But why?

Research by Spotify and clinical psychologist Dr Emma Gray asserts that classical music with 60-70 beats per minute is best to stimulate learning because it induces a state of relaxation where the mind is calm but alert. Your imagination is stimulated and concentration is heightened, much like a meditative state.

Check out the Classic Study Music album on Spotify, or Classical Showcase via iTunes Radio to tap into your inner scholarly sophisticate.

Opt for ambient instrumentals

Ambient instrumental music is a good alternative to classical if the idea of spending an hour with Chopin gives you the heebie-jeebies. Instrumental music can cover loads of genres too, including contemporary hits – the key is to create or find a playlist that can blend into the background and doesn’t include lyrics.

Try Ambient Radio or Instrumental Music Songs Radio via iTunes Radio, or New Age Instrumental Radio via Pandora.

Pick a study theme song

Music is meant to be fun, right? So why not go against all the rules and kick your session off with a theme song to give yourself a pre-study boost? It could be something related to your industry, like Technologic by Daft Punk for IT students, or a song that reminds you why you’re putting in all the effort, like Fancy by Iggy Azalea, for those up-skilling for a promotion.

What are you favourite study songs? Let us know on Twitter @seeklearning!

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