My Favourite Study Music – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

My Favourite Study Music

There’s barely a moment in the day where I’m not listening to music. It’s both an art form that I love, and something I seem incapable of operating without. So when I sit down to study in total silence, my mind wanders. It’s as though music is the way to keep me from distraction. Because of that, I don’t like to study in silence. But I can’t listen to loud pop music while studying either, or else I just want to get up and dance.

There’s a lot of great music out there with a quiet, relaxing aesthetic that really suits the study vibe. I’m no expert about what’s popular and what’s not, especially when it comes to classical symphonies, but I’ve put together a list of my recommendations if you’re looking for some background noise while studying:

Classical Music

My go-to music for studying is classical music with no vocals. While there are so many different genres within the umbrella term ‘classical,’ I tend to listen to pieces that have a more relaxed, soft tone. I know pitifully little about music history and terminology, but you don’t have to be an expert. There are plenty of playlists on Spotify and other music streaming sites that put together a good selection. These are some of my favourites:

Classical Reading – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWYkztttC1w38?si=aFY36MUvTkiG6Rw_vEmcAA

Classical World: Japan – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DXdUer5rrvuGS?si=QTuiXXErTiOrMnSM16jfYA

Late Night Synths and Strings – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/37i9dQZF1DX7XctuunSzQQ?si=VNUlSpc0SJqOCXXANVs98w

(Side note – I have been obsessed with Claude Debussy’s piano piece Clair de Lune lately. It’s pretty famous, and if you don’t know it, I’d recommend giving it a listen. It’s especially beautiful on a rainy day.)

Chilled Cow on YouTube 

This channel does a continuous live-stream of lo-fi hip-hop beats and it’s so relaxing. Complete chill vibes. And unlike a lot of hour-long music videos on YouTube, there are no advertisement interruptions. I like to have the live-stream playing when I study and read, and also when cooking. I was baking a cake earlier and it created a really nice atmosphere.  

Movie/TV soundtracks

These are very similar to traditional classical pieces, albeit more accessible if you are looking for something that matches a particular aesthetic. As a literature student I listen to film scores a lot when reading, and I will pick out a soundtrack based on what book I am reading. For example, Dario Marianelli’s soundtrack to Jane Eyre matches with most Victorian era or gothic-inspired romances, such as Villette and Middlemarch. James Horner’s soundtrack for Troy is ideal for reading the Iliad and the Aeneid, etc.  

Music in another language

There’s so much music out there in the world, and the benefit of listening to music in another language while studying is that because you don’t understand it, it just sort of washes over you, and for me this allows me to focus more on the melody rather than the words. I’m less likely to get distracted by it and start singing along like with most English songs. I recommend ballads, indie, and acoustic music as good genres to study to. Some of my favourites include Park Hyo-Shin (박효신) and Sam Kim (샘킴), both Korean artists.

Nature sounds You can find these kinds of videos on YouTube, where it will just be an hour or several hours of sounds such as rain on a roof, a waterfall in a forest, a train passing by, café noises, etc. These are good for creating atmospheric background noise that makes you feel as though you are somewhere else, but the repetitiveness of the sounds is also designed to help you focus.

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