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Studying Tips & Tricks

Music has the POWER to help you focus, ready your mind, and promote memory and retention. For example, classical music can be helpful for studying or preparing for an exam. Choose music that has a calming effect. This helps to get your brain in the right state of mind and reduces any stress or anxiety. Make sure to have healthy snacks on hand, such as nuts and yogurt, to give you the added brain boost you need. This helps to get your brain in the right state of mind for studying. With these simple tips, you can make music work for you as you strive towards achieving your degree.


Listening to Classical music is known to be both peaceful and harmonious, creating a calm and serene study environment. It is often referenced as one of the best studying genres for students because listeners report side effects like better mood and increased productivity—often referred to as the Mozart effect.

Try listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3

Timed Tempos

Studies have shown that music timed at 60 beats per minute can help put people’s minds into ease; putting brains into a more productive mode where thinking are creativity are easier. According to Music in the Classroom, “ helps regulate the brain's rhythm, regulating the movement and improving impulse control, which balances the very specialized powers of the left and right hemispheres.”

Try listening to a 60 Beats per Minute Classroom Music playlist.


Instrumental Ambient Sounds

If you prefer a more modern flair, a combo of instrumental music and electronic may be the perfect option for you. Relaxing sounds of instruments can be paired with modern tunes to get the best of both worlds.

Try listening to The Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ) Study playlist

(includes fun renditions of the popular song Running Up That Hill and even cover music from Netflix’s Bridgerton series.)

Nature Sounds

This type of “music” is perfect for those not so into classical music. It’s known for increasing concentration levels and keeping the listener’s mind engaged at a more subconscious level. It also can be very calming, which is why many use it to help with meditation and to fall asleep. What falls into this category are soundtracks of nature like waterfalls, rain or the sounds of the seashore rolling in.

Try listening to a Nature Music Nature Sounds playlist.

Modern Electronic
Modern electronic is also commonly referred to as “chill” music. The genres include Ambient House, Ambient Trance, New Age and Trip Hop. They are known to relax the mind, encouraging it to roam. Be careful not to let it roam too much, however – you want to stay focused on the task at hand! To set the right study vibe,
Try listening to a New Age Mix Playlist.

How to Use Music to Help You Study

It can be a challenge to stay away from listening to top hits and singing out loud if you choose to use music for studying. Selecting the wrong type of music can distract you from your studies and become counterproductive. Consider the following pointers when you are using music to help you study:


Keep your volume in check.

Make sure that your background music is not distracting you or any of the students around you. Keep loud music minimum so that the study level is at a maximum.


Plan out your playlist.

Don’t wait until the time you have set aside for studying to create a playlist. Create it in your downtime so that, when it’s time to study, studying is the only task at hand and all you need to do as far as music is concerned is press play. If you forget to plan or don’t want to create your own playlist, The Study Music Project has its Lofi Music Project playlist on Spotify.

Include frequent breaks.

Plan your playlist so that, when it ends, it will be an indication that it’s your break time.

Understand that studying is more important than the music.

Avoid spending hours creating your playlist. After all, it should essentially just become background noise. What you should ultimately focus on is your studies. Listening to music is calming, leading to more conscientious studying, elevating your mood, motivating you to stay focused and studying for longer periods of time. What is most important is that whatever you are listening to does not distract you, calms you and truly puts your mind into study mode so that you can be productive and retain as much information as possible.

*Music suggestions from Fast Web

Does your student learn and think differently?

We all know that music can influence how we feel. Everyone is different. Be mindful of how you respond, and experiment.  If a piece of music doesn’t evoke the right mood, try something else.

Keep in mind that some may find music distracting. And if you have a sensory processing issues or is sensitive to sound, readjust. Don't be afraid to experiment how loud or soft to play the music or if you wants it at all.


To Focus

You have facts to memorize, vocabulary to learn or chapters to read.

Music to try:

Baroque music. Try the slower movements in works like Handel’s Water Music or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

  • Water Music

  • Four Seasons

Why it may help:

A three-year study from 2006 found that college students enjoyed math more and retained it better when music of the Baroque era played during class. They also got better grades.

Other studies have also linked Baroque music to improved learning. Brewer says the music’s slow, steady pace may help kids focus. It’s also predictable. There are no sudden changes in rhythm or volume, and the harmonies aren’t dissonant. These features work together to create a background that may help some kids absorb information.

Keep in mind that if you are hyperactive, she may need a transition. Start by playing something lively to match your energy level, Brewer advises. Once engaged with the music, switch to the more sedate Baroque movements.

Work late

To Get It Done

You have to get through a tedious task. Think emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry or making meals in the morning.

Music to try: 

Energetic music with a strong beat like Earth Tribe Rhythms by Brent Lewis or marching band performances. Your favorite upbeat music can also be effective, as long as the lyrics are positive.

  • Earth Tribe Rhythms

  • “The Thunderer”

Why it may help: 

Since at least the 1970s, studies have been showing that music can boost adults’ productivity and efficiency as they do routine work. In Brewer’s experience, music might also help perform rote tasks. “Say your energy is low but you have things to get done,” says Brewer. “Music with alternating fast and slow parts and strong rhythms may make you want to move to the music, which livens up your mood.”

Candles & Plants

To De-stress

Maybe you are tense after a tough day of school/work. Or maybe your stress is more high energy - you're feeling anxious or just have high anxiety.

Music to Try:

Depending on which kind of stress you are feeling, you might try either soft, slow melodic music, such as any of the songs from Daniel Kobialka’s When You Wish Upon a Star or Louis Armstrong’s soothing “What a Wonderful World.” Or you might play fun, gently upbeat music like the Beatles’ “Octopus’s Garden.”

  • “When You Wish Upon a Star”

  • “What a Wonderful World”

  • “Octopus’s Garden”

Why it May Work:

Research suggests that relaxing music may help ease some people’s physical and emotional responses to stress. If you just need to wind down and get your mind off your day. Something slow, soothing and familiar may make you feel more centered. But if your energy is high, fast, fun upbeat music could distract you and change the mood.

Reading Notes

Generate Idea for Projects

You are trying to generate ideas for a paper or write a story for English class.

Music to try: 

Free-flowing contemporary instrumental, light jazz, New Age, or easy listening music such as solo piano pieces like “Autumn” by George Winston, Pat Metheny’s jazz guitar music, or selections from Enya.

  • “Autumn”

  • We Live Here

  • The Very Best of Enya

Why it may help: 

In 2011, Finnish researchers found that processing the timbre (or sound quality) of a song may encourage “mind-wandering,” which can be linked to creativity. Brewer suggests looking for music that feels spontaneous, meandering in different and surprising directions. Music that’s unpredictable encourages the mind to wander. It can help you see things from different perspectives. And it may trigger those “aha” moments that seem to come out of nowhere.

*Research from: Chris Brewer, M.A., is the author of Soundtracks for Learning: Using Music in the Classroom and a former instructor at Fairhaven College of Western Washington University. She’s worked for more than 20 years helping teachers (including special education teachers) use music in their classrooms. Information gathered from

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