By Olufunke Ogunmefun, April 9 2021—
In a world where attending lectures from bed is the norm for many students and motivation to study can be rather rare, having the right ambient music for when you are in study-mode is serious business. Here are some of my favourite playlists to listen to when I’m studying, or simply doing assignments.
- “lofi hip hop music – beats to relax/study to” by Lofi Girl
Lo-fi hip-hop is a very popular choice of study music among students — and for good reason. The dreamy, calm tones of lo-fi hip-hop tracks are reminiscent of quiet, rainy days indoors and the occasional voice-over snippet provides some liveliness that makes whatever reading assignment I’m doing a little less mind-numbing.
- “Relaxing Spanish Guitar” by Spotify
There’s something about the thrill of the Spanish guitar that keeps me motivated. Although the Spanish guitar is an instrument that is frequently accompanied by vocals in popular culture, these instrumentals are very good at fading distractors into the background and helping you stay on task for long periods of time. The fact that this playlist makes me feel like the main character of a movie is also a nice touch.
- “Classical Study Music” by Peaceful Classics
Classical Music is a popular choice for ambient music when trying to stay focused on a task and it works for me because it melts into the background, making it easier to stay attentive to the task at hand. This playlist by Peaceful Classics helps center my thoughts and keep them in one place, something that is especially important when conducting the self-directed learning that so many students are currently having to get used to.
- Jazz In The Background by Spotify
There’s not much like the soothing sounds of piano, trumpets and hi-hats playing in harmony to ease you into your study routine. Spotify’s soft jazz playlist provides over 100 relaxing instrumentals to help you comfortably tackle those assignments and readings, one track at a time.
But instrumental music isn’t the only type of music that can help. For me, completing my schoolwork is as much about focus as it is about motivation. That’s where the upbeat tracks in these honourable mentions come in:
- “indie pop and chill” by Spotify
This collection of new indie-pop music gives me that serotonin boost that I often need to get into that elusive study and work mindset. Dreamy songs from the likes of Cavetown and Jeremy Zucker, paired with more energetic songs by artists like Wallows and Claud, are some of my absolute favourites to listen to when I’m working.
- Nectar by Joji
Nectar is Joji’s third and latest album. The mix of ballads and hip-hop that Nectar provides is one of my favourite soundtracks to a long work session.
- Trench by Twenty One Pilots
Okay, hear me out. The distinctive alternative and genre-bending sound of Twenty One Pilots might not sound like the most effective choice for staying focused on homework — and maybe it isn’t for most people. But Trench is one of the most motivating collections of music that I’ve had on rotation during the pandemic. From the drums to the gritty bass guitar accompaniments, Trench keeps me motivated to keep working until my work is done and is definitely a staple in my study music collection.
This admittedly peculiar selection of study and work music is as diverse as the activities that students are faced with on a daily basis as they navigate learning from home. Whatever your mood and needs may be, these playlists and albums are sure to help you complete the hard work that is expected from your classes.