Top Music Genre Suggestions to Study


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

So you survived your intermediate exams. Congratulations. But the semester is far from over. If you’re like me, you probably have multiple deadlines coming up for papers and group projects. It is extremely tempting to procrastinate. Getting into a productive mindset can be difficult. One thing that can make this process easier is choosing the right study music.

It can be tempting to choose songs from your favorite artists or listen to new albums like Taylor Swift’s “Midnights.” Unfortunately, according to the University of Phoenix, studying while listening to music with lyrics can be distracting and reduce productivity. This phenomenon occurs because your brain may have trouble processing song lyrics and important academic information simultaneously.

If you have no problem staying focused on your homework while listening to loud and catchy pop songs, this article might not be for you. However, if you’re looking for study music suggestions that will help you succeed this semester, you’ve come to the right place.

  1. Classic

Although there isn’t much validity to the Mozart effect, classical music is worth a try. For starters, there are no potentially distracting lyrics to worry about. Classical music is also generally slower and quieter than other genres, so it can help you relax and stay calm while studying. A Stanford University School of Medicine study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that classical music improves the brain’s ability to pay attention and organize and process new information effectively. Unfortunately, some intense and dynamic classical pieces might end up being distractions rather than tools to improve concentration, so choose your composers wisely. Mozart can be a good starting point. Personally, I also recommend looking at Debussy and Chopin.

  1. Instrumental Lofi

Honestly, who hasn’t listened to lofi hip hop radio on Youtube with the animation of the lofi girl studying with her cat? I’ve used this playlist many times during my college experience, and it seems to make me more focused and productive. Lofi music is usually at the perfect tempo to keep me engaged in my work and relaxed. Spotify offers a similar playlist called “Chill Lofi Study Beats”, which more than a million people also find useful to listen to while studying. Classical music is great, but some people may prefer to listen to something that sounds more modern.

Unlike classical music, lofi music rarely includes significant changes in tempo or dynamics. According to Vaughn College, listeners tend to keep lofi music playlists on endless loops because they’re predictable, there are no distracting lyrics, and they can be used to drown out distracting background noise. Listening to instrumental covers of pop songs may not work, as you might still get distracted thinking about the lyrics of the song in your head. Lofi hip hop or other types of electronic instrumental modern music may be the answer you’ve been looking for.

  1. video game music

I know you probably want to keep scrolling, but hear me out on this one. Video game music is literally designed to keep you engaged and productive without being too intrusive and distracting from the task at hand. Just as it might inspire you to move to the next level of a game, it might inspire you to move on to your next task on your to-do list.

I wouldn’t recommend loud and epic game themes because they might end up being a distraction. Instead, look for something cohesive and somewhat upbeat like Nintendo 8-bit retro game music if you’re trying to get the job done quickly. If you want something a little more relaxing or something that might help you feel more creative, I recommend checking out some songs from the Minecraft, Journey, The Legend of Zelda, or Persona soundtracks. Even if you don’t play video games, you might enjoy listening to video game soundtracks set to classical music while studying.

While the genres I mentioned can be fun to explore on your own, I encourage you to ask your friends and family what they listen to when they want to be productive. I have friends with great grades who only listen to loud rap or classic rock when studying, so it might be okay to listen to music with lyrics if you don’t find it too distracting. At the end of the day, you just have to find what works best for you. Hope you can find out before the finals season.


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