College students love multitasking. We also love music. It would make sense, then, that most of us enjoy listening to some type of music when we’re studying or doing homework.
Having music on in the background makes the task at hand feel a little less stressful and serious. It can have a calming effect while keeping us focused, or it can provide motivation by pumping us up.
Music choices can vary depending on what kind of student or person you are. Here is a list of the types of music popular among college students while they are getting their work done.
Some students prefer music of the classical genre when studying or completing assignments for class. This type of music can be calming and great to have on in the background with any given task at hand.
If you’re the type of student who can’t focus while there is music with lyrics playing, try out classical music. There will be no distraction from words, and it can have an extremely soothing effect.
Start with the “Exam Study Classical Music” playlist on Spotify for a variety of classical music by historically renowned composers.
On the other end of the spectrum is the hip-hop/rap genre. Students who already favor this genre outside of studying may choose to listen to it while getting their work done. Just as it might have a similar effect at the gym, hip-hop/rap gets the student pumped and ready to be productive and successful.
It also keeps the student awake and attentive, something essential for studying and getting homework done. Find a station of the genre on Pandora, playlists on Spotify, or search your favorite songs on YouTube.
A happy medium between classical and hip-hop/rap is the genre of electronic. It’s calming like classical, and there usually aren’t lyrics. It’s like hip-hop in the way that it pumps you up. The beats and tempos are a bit quicker, but it’s not as generally overwhelming as hip-hop/rap while you’re trying to study.
Try Past is Prologue by Tycho, Cirrus by Bonobo, Loud Pipes by Ratatat and Spirit of Life by Blackmill.
4. Rock/light rock
If you’re a rock fan of any type, you might naturally enjoy this genre while studying. It can pump you up depending on what artist or band you’re listening to. It can be calming while motivating at the same time.
Some students might enjoy having classic rock on in the background, while others prefer heavy metal to get them pumped and keep them alert while they’re working.
Another alternative within this genre is rock or light rock without lyrics for those students who get too distracted by the words in songs when they’re trying to focus. Great artists for this preference are RJD2 and El Ten Eleven. Start with Ghostwriter by RJD2 and My Only Swerving by El Ten Eleven, and build playlists from there.
A step up from electronic (just a tad more intense) is EDM — Electronic Dance Music. This genre has gotten more and more popular among young audiences over the past few years along with EDM festivals across the U.S.
This genre is what would be considered the ultimate “pump-up” music. If it’s late at night, you feel yourself getting tired and you really feel like you need some study motivation, EDM is your best bet. You definitely won’t fall asleep, especially if you are listening to it loud. If you focus enough on the task at hand while listening to this type of music, you’ll stay alert and attentive to be as productive as possible.
Put on an EDM station on Pandora, or search EDM playlists on Spotify or YouTube.
6. Top hits
If you’re not a huge music aficionado, that is you don’t have a ton of favorite artists, bands or genres, but you can’t study or do homework without some type of background noise, you might just enjoy top hits. They’re what’s on the radio, so you’re most likely familiar with a lot of the songs.
Some college students just like to have some kind of sound going on in the background because it’s hard for them to focus with complete silence. Even if you don’t have specific preferences when it comes to your music, you’ll most likely enjoy top hits.
Start with a top hits station on Pandora, or by searching top songs on YouTube that you’ve heard recently to get yourself going. Spotify also has a “charts” section under the “browse” tab where you can choose between Global Top 50, United States Top 50, United States Viral 50 and Global Viral 50.=
Alexandra Brown writes for Uloop, a leading college news and college classifieds resource for student housing, jobs and internships, roommates and sublets, tutors and scholarships, study abroad, test prep, and local services for college students.
This article comes from The USA TODAY College partner network. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of USA TODAY. You understand that we have no obligation to monitor any discussion forums, blogs, photo- or video-sharing pages, or other areas of the Site through which users can supply information or material. However, we reserve the right at all times, in our sole discretion, to screen content submitted by users and to edit, move, delete, and/or refuse to accept any content that in our judgment violates these Terms of Service or is otherwise unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons.
classic, college, college life, college student, edm, electronic, hip hop, music, music while studying, Rap, rock, studying, test prep, top hits, CAMPUS LIFE
As a matter of fact, it depends on your personal preferences but still, there is a continual debate on this point. Interestingly, a lot of research has been conducted on this subject with mixed results. Many studies put forth the benefits of listening to a soothing music during the time of studying. On the other hand, there are some studies suggesting the harmful ways in which tunes can affect your concentration while preparing for tough exams ahead. Let us analyze this point on every count.
Benefits of Listening to Music:
- Music helps to retain the knowledge in the depth of your brain. Remember your kindergarten days when your teachers recited poems in a rhythm making it easy to grasp for the little minds.
- It improves attention and memory power. If you are stimulated by some good tune, you can master the complexities of mental math in a much lesser time. Call it the ‘Mozart effect’.
- It helps to distract your mind away from disturbing thoughts. As such, it reduces anxiety and negativity.
Harms of Listening to Music:
- When memorizing things in an order, music can adversely affect your cognitive powers. Notes and wordings can get you confused, leading in a disastrous study session.
- Listening when studying means that your brain is engaged in two activities at a time. A part of your brain system is allocated to music and it may cause certain hindrances.
- Science says that you can recall information easily in the scenario that simulates what it was during the time of learning. It is called context-dependent learning and it can be harsh on you if you tend to prefer loud sound during your preps and get a silent classroom during the exam.
What Should You Do Then?
As said earlier, it is a matter of personal choice and level of concentration. If you can train your brain to work with the pace of music, it is effective for your studies. Otherwise, it can be a big distraction. While engaged in subjects that you are already familiar with, music can surprisingly elevate your energy levels.
What Music Should You Listen To While Studying?
This is quite interesting to note that type of tune can have severe impact on your study schedules. Studies say that instrumental music works wonders during in-depth learning sessions while movie scores can keep up your morale. Music with lyrics can be fine while studying math but certainly not so while writing or reading some complex chapters. Avoid high-intensity and loud sound in all cases because it is nevertheless a distraction that you wouldn’t want in your study.
Suggested Read: Healthy Vegan Food for Students
CAT Preparation, ETS GRE Preparation, GMAT Preparation, LSAT Preparation, SAT College Board