I was never a fan of studying while listening to music for focus enhancement. I have always preferred the calm and natural atmosphere that is so quiet that one can hear the sound of a fallen needle.
I have been this way until the early days of my undergraduate years in school when I realized that the world was much noisier than I thought. And to be able to focus well and concentrate while studying I needed to create a more friendly ‘noise’ and cancel out the other forbidden sounds from the atmosphere.
That was when I joined the league of those students whose rituals before studying include picking a playlist of their best music for focus and concentration even before they reach out for a book.
Funny enough, it has been working so fine and has helped me through lots of tests and exams in medical school. Today, I have a special personalized list of my best music for focus while studying.
Using Music For Focus And Creativity: Do They Really Work?
There are lots of debates by psychologists and scientists about whether studying with music for increased focus while studying or while at work is effective. The disappointing news for those in my league is that recent studies suggest that studying in silence is actually the best setting for studying.
It was also found that listening to one particular type of music for focus while studying is unlikely to increase your intellectual prowess. So the old “Mozart Effect” theory has been debunked.
The major advantage this research found on the use of music for focus while working is the fact that certain music can help improve some cognitive skills like spatial intelligence for a short time.
Also, forcing yourself into particular music which you may not like as your music for studying and concentration is futile and counter-productive. For instance, if you are not a fan of Mozart or other classical music, you will never have the Mozart effect while studying.
Another study by Dr. Nick Perham carried out at the University of Wales revealed that listening to music while studying irrespective of how much you love the music while studying is likely to reduce your serial recall skills needed for certain tasks like mental arithmetic and learning languages. He also found that listening to lyrics-containing music while studying is likely to slow down your reading.
However, one fact has been established from all these research works and here it goes;
Music has the potential to create the perfect mental state for reading and increase work productivity. All the researches I studied also agreed on one fact: that listening to some favorite music before studying is helpful even though silence is the golden rule for the actual brain work.
Personally, I still prefer reading in absolute silence for better focus and concentration. But when in a world as noisy as this, when I cannot find a suitable atmosphere that meets my needs, I create one using my master playlist of music for focus and concentration while studying.
I have decided to list all the music on my personal playlist just in case you happen to connect with any of them.
Also, Read; How Does Knowingyour Personaliy Help You?
A Personalized List Of My Best Music For Focus And Concentration While Studying
You will find that most of my best music for focus while reading is mainly instrumentals. I find music with lyrics a little bit distracting as sometimes my focus tends to deviate from the content I am reading to the music I am playing.
Also, generally, I prefer music with a fast tempo as it increases my study speed.
So here is my music playlist for focus while studying:
1. Chasing Shadows – In The Mirror (1997 By Yanni)
This particular instrumental music for productivity by Yanni has a special spot in my mind. I usually play this whenever I am in a hyper mood and would like to transmute that energy into my studies.
Usually being in a hyper mood can be a disadvantage to you especially if you really need to study at that time, and if you do not know how to channel that energy well, you may end up not reading at all.
2. Santorinni By Yanni
Santorini is another music for focus and increased speed while studying. It’s just like Chasing shadows (the one above) and helps me channel my hyper mood effectively into my studies.
3. Lord of the Dance (River Dance By Enya)
This is folk instrumental music for productivity by Enya. I also use this music for focus enhancement while studying especially in the afternoon, in buses when everywhere is filled with external noise from other people and traffic.
4. A Walk In the Rain By Yanni
This is a piece of very cool music for focus and creativity. Very useful while I am reading, writing a blog post, or working on something that needs creative thinking.
I don’t know how, but it sparks my mind to imagine things better find better solutions for problems faster during most of my online work.
5. First Touch By Yanni
This one is on this list just because it was composed by Yanni; someone I have greatly fallen in love with his music.
I hardly use this for studying in very noisy places. But its soothing effect has proven to be helpful in relaxing my mind for studies after a very stressful day.
6. The River By Enya
Best for early morning studies when you simply lack the motivation to study without music. The calm flow, rise, and fall of the rhythm are enough to keep you engaged for an extra hour if played on a repeat.
7. A Day Without Rain By Enya
This is also one of my best music for focus while studying in the early hours of the morning just like the one above.
8. Beautiful Life By Alan Walker
Sometimes the atmosphere is just so noisy that you need loud music and good noise-canceling AirPods or headset. In such situations, playing cool music like the ones listed above will never help. The music will simply disappear into the noise.
But for me to be able to study in such conditions, I simply create my own noise by playing instrumentals with heavy beats like Alan Walker. Or I may just end up playing any of the voiced music on my playlist like the ones below this one.
Beautiful life by Alan Walker is one of the best music for focus while working (not necessarily studying). It increases your pace, and speed for any productive activity you are carrying out.
9. Really Love By Alan Walker
This is another perfect track by Alan Walker just like the one above. You will find this music in many soundtracks on YouTube videos. This is because it increases vibes and engagement for the listener.
10. Diamonds On the Water By Enya
This is down here on this list because it is voiced. If not, it would have fitted perfectly among the cool instrumentals listed in the beginning.
I also prefer playing this song at night or in the early hours of the morning while studying. I have found it to increase my engagement and focus.
11. New Day By Alan Walker
This is another great track by Alan Walker, also perfect for studying in very noisy environments.
12. Shadow Hunters By Ruelle
If you are looking for a piece of music to focus on and work fast, try some of Ruelle’s songs. Shadow Hunter is a soundtrack from a movie, but I have found this music good for studying and for doing my work online like writing and designing stuff.
13. Where We Come Alive By Ruelle
This is another great track by Ruelle with which I have bonded with. I often use this one if I need to read fast on a bus. It is also a piece of great music to focus on and work fast.
I would like to stop here for my own personal list of music for focus and concentration while studying.
Actually, my list is endless and evolves as my taste for music evolves. Daily I still find some music to be very nice, and I keep updating my studies and work playlist.
Other Great Music For Productivity Not On My Playlist
I have read from other blogs about some kinds of music that a good number of persons have found to be useful in increasing their concentration while studying. I will add some notes on them below.
1. Classical Music For Productivity
I have never been a fan of classical music, so you may never find me playing Mozart, Beethoven, or Puccini. In fact, I have none of these on my whole playlist.
But some persons who are fans of classical music will actually find quiet classical music very useful while studying.
In fact, researchers have named an effect associated with listening to classical music while studying “the Mozart effect”; a theory that claims that listening to classical composers can enhance brain activity and catalyze the augmentation of their general health and well-being.
But recent studies as could be found above have debunked these as myths stating that studying with any music you love will produce a similar effect.
However, if you are a fan of classical music, here are a few selections of the best classical music for productivity you will definitely find rewarding for your studies:
- Mozart, Beethoven and Bach Collection For Better Concentration
- Bach Classical
- Mozart Piano Classical
- Vivaldi’s Quick Tempo
2. Sounds From Nature
Certain natural sounds have been proven to be found effective for studying especially if tuned to a certain frequency.
Such sounds like the flow of running water, ripples on water, birds chirping, waves crashing or a babbling brook has been observed to improve cognition and concentration.
Personally, I have experimented with this and found it to be true. I have tried studying in a very quiet place with trees and birds, and though the sounds were crude; the sounds of the flowing wind and whistling trees increased my focus and I studied longer than I imagined.
If you are looking for a more refined natural sound tuned to a frequency best for reading, then you should check the selections below;
3. Music From Some Video Games
I love video games a lot, and I played a good number of them at a younger age. If you are also a fan of video games, you will agree with me that the whole graphics and sound effects were designed in such a way that it keeps people within the game for hours without them noticing. Now, this is just psychology deployed as a marketing strategy.
But here is what some smart persons do; having found out the truth about some of this music in our video games, they go ahead and download it and add it to their playlist of music for focus and productivity.
Here is some music from video games you may find useful for increasing your productivity;
- Soundtrack from Assassin creed 2
- The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
- Battlefield One
- Final Fantasy 7 and so many more!
4. Music With Cinematic Effect
Listening to cinematic music for focus and concentration can give you a feeling of doing something very important or worthwhile.
You can find cinematic music useful for lifting your moods and spirit after a stressful day. This is a feeling that is needed if you want to keep being productive even while passing through a difficult time.
Examples of awesome music scores to try out include;
5. Any Music With 50 to 80 Beats Per Minute Can Be Helpful
A Cognitive Behavioural therapist by the name; Dr. Emma Gray once worked with Spotify to determine the benefits of some types of music for focus and productivity. It was discovered that music within the range of 50 to 80 beats per minute sets the brain in an alpha state.
The alpha state is a relaxational state and keeps our mind more open, receptive, and less critical; an important component of studying and understanding.
What Is The Best Music For Studying
If you have followed all I have said up till this point, you must have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as the best music for studying. However, having a personal playlist for studying and work is better.
You may find it surprising that some persons prefer certain genres like trap, rap, or even jazz music for focus while studying. So whichever one works best for you, just follow it.
But remember the golden rule; silence is always the best atmosphere for studying, even though some people who have gotten used to studying with music will still debate this.
How To Select Your Personal Playlist Of Music For Productivity
If you don’t already have a private playlist of music for productivity, you can start compiling one now and keep updating the list whenever you find new music you love.
So I will first advise you to search all the songs on your playlist and select every instrumental you can find and add them to your new list of music for focus and productivity.
You can as well download some of the music cited on this post and add them to your playlist.
Whenever you find yourself reading in a noisy place, put on your headphone or earpiece, and put your special playlist. From here you can remove any music you feel is unworthy to be on your list.
Also, while casually listening to other songs on your device you keep updating your playlist with new and better music that will help your focus while studying.
Music For Studying Vs Music For Work
If you are a true lover of music, you will find that some music is best for work and not studying. The best music for studying is mostly instrumentals and classical music. But for work, I have found that I prefer songs like Eminem, Hip hop, and even some of Sia’s songs.
So the idea is to look for what works best for you and incorporate that into your study and work life.
The Kind Of Music You Should Avoid
Now you know the kind of music you should play for increased focus and productivity. How about those ones that would distract you from carrying out your work?
Generally, the rule is to avoid annoying music or music that is biased in nature or songs that trigger emotions.
Some examples of songs in this category include;
- Certain religious music
- Dubstep music
- Heavy metals
- Sexually provocative sounds
- Listening to talks or seminars
- Any music you do not like at all
These songs can sabotage your efforts and are counter-productive no matter your study style or approach, or how strong your work ethics are and are best avoided.
Final Thoughts On The Best Music For Study And Productivity
You should be knowledgeable enough about yourself to find out what kind of music you like and the type of music you dislike.
It is worth experimenting if you are looking for a piece of music for focus which you can always rely on to booster your productivity while studying.
Personally, I find it difficult to focus on music that has lyrics and I try not to include it in my study playlist so that I wouldn’t have to battle with unnecessary distractions in between my studies.
Also, when I find the opportunity, I usually run to a very quiet place for my studies. This way, I wouldn’t have to struggle with sounds except those that come from nature.
I hope you found this post enlightening and helpful. If so, why not enlighten another by sharing it?