While a lot of people work best in complete silence, there are many who prefer some form of background noise or stimulation in order to concentrate.
If you’re a college or graduate student who puts in long hours of studying, listening to music that you enjoy can help pass the time and allow you to concentrate on your work without getting bored.
Depending on your personality and the way your brain functions, there’s a high probability that certain types of music will help you pay attention and improve your study sessions.
The question is: What type of music will do that?
It’s obvious that certain musical genres are just plain distracting, emotionally charged, and not designed for concentration or relaxing. But there’s also a lot of music that can help you relax, focus, and be great accompaniment to a long study session.
While everyone’s different, here’s what I recommend for studying and concentration:
1. Lite jazz — Any kind of jazz will do, but vocal artists like Ella Fitzgerald or Sammy Davis Jr. are great for relaxing and focusing on your work. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, jazz fusion will have more of a pop sound and syncopated rhythm.
2. Classical — Classical music of any kind is a fantastic study companion. Not only does it sharpen your brain, but it’s easy to listen to and doesn’t distract you from other thoughts. If you were hoping for something a little more interesting than the average classical recording, try something like Perpetual Motion by Bela Fleck. He does a bunch of classical numbers on that album with a banjo.
3. Varied instrumental — Hearing other words can compete for your thoughts and make it harder for you to read or think through your own words. That means that instrumental tunes of most varieties are going to be better options for your study time.
Even heavier guitar stuff from Joe Satriani or Eric Johnson can make great studying tracks. Something more subtle, like an instrumental jazz or blues record, is also great for relaxing and concentrating.
4. Funk — Again, lots of instrumental options here, and a little more upbeat. Perhaps it’s not the most calm and soothing style of music, but it is smooth and can be a relaxing sound, even when you’re trying to concentrate on something else.
Helping you Relax
Music is helpful during a study session because it can help you relax, and while some people’s minds perform better with silence, music can be used as a tool to increase the length of time you’re able to focus on something.
If you want to try the music mentioned above, here are some sites where you can stream songs without having to pay for them.
1. Grooveshark — A form of social media for music lovers, Grooveshark allows you to search for music, create playlists, save them and then listen to them whenever you want. They’ve got just about every artist on the planet to choose from.
2. Arena — It’s similar to Grooveshark, but Arena puts more emphasis on the news and community aspect of streaming music. Arena also boosts the highest payout to artists per stream. You can search for music and make playlists.
3. Pandora — Pandora is designed to help you find new music that you’re more likely to enjoy, by letting you create stations based on artists that you already like. Once you select an artist, Pandora will play music similar to that artist. It’s not as “selective” as your other two options, but it will run on its own without the need to create a playlist; just select the initial band and you’re good to go.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and online marketing professional in the Los Angeles area. When she is trying to power through a long day at work, she enjoys creating a playlist to get her through. Follow her on Twitter today!
For more tips on how to study and much more, order your copy of The Secrets of Top Students today!