An Audio Aide: Find Yourself Some Study Music

AJ Valcin

“I need to focus right now.”

When deadlines have crept up and you are “down to the wire,” you will probably tell yourself something like this, and maybe to the people around you. So what happens after?

Many of us plug in headphones and go to town on that paper. Some go to their dorm rooms and stay up late finishing that A&P lab in peace and quiet. Others just sit amidst the Student Center noise and stare at their massive comprehensive study guide.

Productivity is like a dream: We fantasize about its benefits as we wonder, can we really experience it? The answer is, without a doubt, yes.

Having been through four years of college, I’m here to offer the remedy for your malady--Music.

For starters, create a playlist on whatever media player you happen to use, plug in your earbuds, and hit “shuffle” as you proceed to knock out your to-do list. This is better than having to interrupt your groove and switch songs, you know?

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for music selections, I strongly suggest that your choices be instrumental. The less words you hear as you’re drafting a response essay, the less likely you are to subconsciously type those Justin Bieber lyrics and submit it to your professor the following morning. Been there.

To specify what artists you could listen to as study music, I’ve always been a fan of listening to epic orchestral and classical music. The trailer music group known as Two Steps from Hell has a massive catalog that will take you from sitting in a library study room to leading a crushing army to dominate the known world as you majestically gallop on your trusty steed.

Before you know it, you’ll be in bed by 11 and feeling extremely accomplished, all in a day’s work.

You can experience similar feelings of grandeur by putting the following suggestions on your study shuffle: Hans Zimmer, The Piano Guys, Thomas Bergersen, E.S. Posthumus, Steve Jablonsky, and The Glitch Mob.

Ain’t got time for all of that? I hear you. I barely do either, so this is where pre-curated study playlists* come in the clutch. Here are a few of my favorites:

Deep Focus. Full of atmospheric and ambient tones, this playlist is my go-to recommendation for buckling down during crunch time. “Deep Focus” has a wide-ranging dynamic, from energetic post-rock to calming choirs and subtle synthesizers. Because of how relaxing this collection of songs can be, there is the possibility of nodding off, so be sure your study posture isn’t too comfortable!

Acoustic Concentration. For all the guitar fans out there, this collection of songs is derived from a range of insanely talented acoustic fingerstyle guitarists. In comparison to “Deep Focus,” the energy is more palpable with “Acoustic Concentration.” If you’re needing a study pick-me-up, grab your air guitar to start jammin’ while you’re crammin’!

Perfect Concentration. This playlist houses a host of calm and steady classical tunes. “Perfect Concentration” is bound to be the soundtrack to your success as you play conductor with the most important years of your academic career. Just be sure to finish your symphony, unlike Schubert with his eighth.

Are there any study tunes that you have conquered mountains of homework with? There are a host of other music choices made in the name of getting As, so whether or not you’re sold on the idea of “study music,” I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Drop me a line online–my handle for all social media is A2nelito.

Unionites, let’s finish this scholastic symphony united in excellence.

*All playlist suggestions are from Spotify unless otherwise noted.

Aj is a senior studying communication.