We have all been in a crisis during the middle of midterms where every professor suddenly decides to synchronize their syllabi and assign papers and hold exams all at once. You might find yourself in your dorm, apartment, library, or other study space completely panicked. All that work can be overwhelming, and when its time to hit the books or crunch out an essay, sometimes a little background noise is helpful. There are many types of music that can help students focus on a task or assignment. 

Although it feels odd for some people to listen to classical music, it may actually help them focus. Lyricless music is essential for avoiding distraction, and the harmonious symphony of classical music is honestly a great flow. The recurring patterns of classical music are also known to boost concentration, and honestly, the sophistication of classical music might also inspire you to finally write that essay.

We are probably all familiar with the infamous ‘lofi hip hop beats’ streams that are available through YouTube. YouTube is a great place to find more of those ‘chill’ beats that are pretty well known to help you focus on your studying. Not only are there the more popular ‘lofi beats’, but the average student is bound to find other videos of great background noise and music to listen to on YouTube. Some others include ‘Afternoon Tea Jazz’ and other ambient music streams that do not have any lyrics to distract you with. 

However, the ‘lofi beats’ might not cut it if the project you are preparing or paper you are writing requires more upbeat music in order the get through the trenches of college. In that case, listening to movie soundtracks might be a more fruitful option. Think about it, whenever a trying task befalls the protagonists of the movie, there is probably a great musical score to go along with the character’s need for determination and strength. Although ‘Eye of the Tiger’ has lyrics, it sure was empowering to listen to when Rocky was preparing for his next round in the ring. There are many lyricless film scores that have an exceptional rhythm to work to as well if lyrics are too distracting for you. My personal favorite to write my essays to is the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film scores. 

In the same realm as movie soundtracks and scores are the soundtracks of video games. Video game soundtracks are an underrated form of music when it comes to studying, in my opinion. The positive effects of video game soundtracks on your productivity make sense. Games contain a wide range of these musical scores during the most intense moments of your playing. An upbeat and fast rhythm is practically designed to help boost your dedication and focus on the task at hand, similar to how you would be glued to the controller in order to complete a mission or battle the enemy in a video game. 

Sometimes, when in a stressed situation where you really need to attach yourself to your computer or notes as a means of accomplishing something, music might not be appropriate. There are a few types of people who find that music of any kind can be distracting. In such a circumstance where you absolutely still need background noise to drown out all other distractions, ambient sounds are a great form of noise to listen to. Ambient sounds like those coffee shop noises with the distant chatter and typing might be of use in order to help you concentrate. Most popular “ambient” sounds are probably the nature sounds that are available. Rain sounds are the most common natural ambient sounds available, and you can find them all on YouTube. 

In essence, whatever form of music or sound that helps you focus is the way to go, but it is crucial to know that you have options. Music is always there for you. 

About The Author

Rukayah Hussein

Hi, I'm Rukayah! I'm a transfer to UIUC and currently studying English and minoring in Psychology. I joined Buzz and The Daily Illini in August 2019, and I enjoy writing about the movies that I love and books I'm reading. When I'm not studying or writing, I am usually listening to a true crime podcast and drinking tea.

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