With college starting in a week or so, our minds are not only filled with the excitement of starting a new chapter of our lives, but also the crazy little matters regarding registering and moving in that already drive us insane... just a little bit.
However, the one thing that we as incoming college students should never neglect is our study habits. In fact, we should look for ways to improve it and optimize the learning that happens per unit of time.
Inherent to effective studying is the choice of background music that accompanies one's study time. It takes some time to find good study music that fits everyone's tastes, and sometimes one's study music that once works efficiently doesn't seem to have the same effect as it used to. So, I've compiled several types of study music at your disposal, with Youtube links for you to fine-tune your preferences.
Ah, there's no other way to start off any study music list. Scientifically proven to improve concentration, Mozart's music has a unique effect on the brain. Yes, the Mozart Effect is actually a thing. Google it when you have time.
If music by Mozart isn't quite your cup of tea, or if Baroque-type classical music just doesn't sit well with you, let me introduce to you the Classical music of the Romantic era with one of music's most beloved composers: Debussy. I liken his music to Monet's paintings -- it's still a painting and you know what the painter is painting, but there is a new type of depth added with Monet's impressionistic style. Similarly, Debussy's music is a new style of playing piano... let's just say the chords are more relaxing and colorful than your typical Baroque-era Classical music.
3. Piano music.
By "piano music," I mean non-classical piano. This is a broad type; you could have piano covers of pop songs or soundtracks... you name it. Personally, Jazz piano music seems to help me focus the best.
Similar thing as #3 here, but just a different type of timbre. Guitar music can go a long way; choose your preference of guitar music. I've linked Jazz guitar music below because it helps me concentrate best.
5. Smooth jazz.
Oh man. Believe me when I say that Smooth Jazz is the BEST type of jazz music to study with. The music doesn't demand special attention, yet you somehow still appreciate the little riffs and chord progressions. It's the optimal mix.
6. Brass band music.
Maybe I'm a little biased since I'm a trombone player. Okay, a lot biased. I'll extend this to Concert band as well. Personally, I seem to focus well when any brass band music is playing, even when they're playing super loud with timpani banging around. It especially helps give you mental energy boosts during those study sessions when you feel too tired but you have an exam tomorrow.
7. Deep jazzy house.
As aforementioned, smooth jazz is the best type of jazz music to study with. Deep Jazzy House is second. It's a perfect melding of jazz chords with EDM. Somehow it puts you in a reeally good mood AND helps you get stuff done like it's no one's business.
8. Chill electronic.
We segway into pure Electronic music for study aid. Electronic beats are great to study with. The XX, Alina Baraz and the Galimantias, and Ta-Ku provide some of the best relaxing and concentration electronic music out there.
9. Indie pop/alternative.
Up until now, all the music that I have suggested are non-lyrical, and that's because lyrics tend to be a distraction to me (and a lot of other people) when studying. However, if you're one to enjoy music with lyrics during study sessions, this is a good genre to play as background music while you study.
10. Tropical "Hawaiian" music.
No cultural appropriation intended in my labeling; it's just the only straightforward way to find this type of music on the internet. Nothing better than some music to remind you of that great vacation you had during the summer under the sun and forget the snow storm that's happening IRL, outside your dorm.
11. Your typical alpha-wave, bi-naural beat, ambient music... whatever that means.
If you have been reading up on effective study music on the internet, you've probably heard of these terms. Music with these attributes initiate a phenomenon in the brain that help it go on super-focus mode. If you really couldn't care less about the type of music playing in the background and just want study music solely for its functionality, I give you the link to this.
Here you are. Best of luck on the upcoming year, open a new tab with these links, and study on!