February 20, 2019

SUNSPOTS | What Music Helps You Study?

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Okay, I’m going to assume you’re behind on your work. Way behind. Whether it’s your desire to succeed or your fear of failure driving you forward, you’re going to need some tunes to listen to while you study. Here are some recommendations from Sunspots and friends.


“One day, I just went through Spotify’s chill/study genre and copied like 20 playlists worth of music from there. Now when I need to study, I just put that 19 hour playlist on shuffle and see what happens.”     -Sam Khatchadourian, Sunspots Staff Writer

“I listen to country acoustic while I study because the unassuming lyrics and peaceful melodies relax me.”     -Jonah Smart, Class of 2020, Government and History

“An unmatched combination of white noise and good vibes – ocean sounds! But beware of its evil twin, whale sounds. Avoid these bastard vibrations at all cost.”     -Noah Harrelson, Sunspots Staff Writer

“When I study I tend to look for something that keeps my momentum flowing without breaking concentration. This usually means I’m listening to music from Sufjan Stevens, Joji, or the ‘lofi hip hop music – beats to relax/study to’ playlist on Spotify.     -Brendan Gonyo, Class of 2021, Biology

“None, because it is the kids who are wrong and the research that is right: you study less well with music playing. And sometimes Young Thug.”     -Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Class of 2019, English

“Movie soundtracks, as I wrote on Sunspots a few years ago, because unlike most other genres they were literally written to be background music. You can also find so many different vibes depending on whether you’re casually studying days in advance (rare) or camped out in Olin cramming the night before (probable). Hans Zimmer’s score for Blue Planet II is one of the best recent additions to my playlist.”     -Lev Akabas, Sunspots Staff Writer

“I can’t have lyrics so a lot of jazz – Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Maynard Ferguson, John Coltrane, Moon Hooch. Sometimes ragtime too, like Scott Joplin radio.”     -Michael Scott (not that one!), Class of 2020, ILR

“Personally, the intended effect of listening to music while studying is to have ambient sounds that are less distracting than the ones actually produced in certain spaces. Recently, Spotify’s Low-Key playlist and the Mellow Days playlist on Apple Music have gotten the job done.”     -Ruth Park, Sunspots Staff Writer

“When I do math or physics homework, I like to listen to catchy music that will get me in the flow of answering problems, or instrumental music that will keep me focused. When I read textbooks, I like absolute quiet!”      -Shane Lobo, Class of 2021, Engineering Physics

“I listen to video game music when I study because it allows me to be close to something I love even when I’m just doing homework! Also, video game music is often so beautiful and reminiscent of vivid memories of stories and childhood. They say the best background music is the kind that you don’t notice, and if it works for games, why not studying, too?”     -Lily Xie, Class of 2021, Biology