Monday, 14 December 2015

Study Jamz: A Guide to Study Music

Study Music

Studying. Finals. Am I right or am I right?

It’s time to hole yourself up into whatever comfortable nook or cranny you have found in the library and put on your fancy Beats by Dre headphones. Crank out that first gen iPod touch that’s on its last leg and put on some…well what are you listening to? Everyone has their preferred study music and here I’ll be sharing some of my favourites.

Pump-up song

Good for: the start of studying

I usually kick-off studying by listening to a pump-up song. You know, like how athletes get pumped up in the locker room before a game. Except this game is studying. And I obviously want to win.

Image courtesy of thebiglead.com


Pick your favourite song. Or something that gets you excited and ready to take on the day. Currently I have two pump up songs:

“Do I Wanna Know?” – Arctic Monkeys


“More Than a Feeling” – Boston



Music with lyrics
Good for: typing up notes, passively studying


On to music with lyrics, or “normal” music if you call it that. I put this on when I don’t need to focus 100% on what I’m doing, when I’m not doing readings or when I don’t need to memorize anything. When I’m typing up notes or passively reading over them is usually the best time for this type of music.

Sometimes I’ll listen to the radio. Usually a radio station will have a player you can open up on your laptop, or an app to listen to live while you study. It’s also a bonus if you’re trying to score tickets to a concert and need to phone in at a specific time. You should be able to access them through their websites. My go to is Sonic 102.9.



Forgot your iPod? Can’t listen to those guilty pleasures? Just pull up a playlist online. You can easily find them on YouTube and Songza. My favourite Songza playlist is the “Deep Funk Revival” playlist because I like to groove along while typing up notes. 





Image courtesy of hfboards.hockeysfuture.com

Lyricless Music
Good for: reading, memorizing, concentrating

Lyricless music is the best study music. It’s great background noise when you really need to focus on your readings or when memorizing notes. Here are some of my favourites and some suggestions you should check out.


Mozart makes babies smart. Or something like that. You can’t beat that classic…classical music.

These following two albums feature work by Ludovico Einaudi and Olafur Arnalds. Einaudi is my favourite artist on my study playlist. I absolutely love his work. Check out his album, “In a Time Lapse” for an idea of his music. He has quite a few albums that are definitely worth a listen. Arnalds is another artist I appreciate. His work, along with Einaudi’s are like “fresh” classical music.

“In a Time Lapse” – Ludovico Einaudi 



“Eulogy for Evolution” – Olafur Arnalds 


Next up on the lyricless list are two Japanese math rock bands, Toe and Rega. What is math rock? I have no idea. But it sounds great. They’ve got great beats and their work sounds like a giant jam session. Check out these two albums:

“Million” – Rega


“RGBDVD” – Toe 


I like to groove even when I’m trying to memorize a bunch of notes, so sometimes I put on some lyricless funk.


Some video games have absolutely beautiful soundtracks. And they sound even more amazing on the piano. Kingdom Hearts is but one video game franchise with great music.

“Kingdom Hearts Piano Collections” 


I don’t like using the word “epic”. But this last one has some pretty epic instrumental music in it. And it’s an hour long so you don’t have to worry about changing songs.


These are only a few suggestions for some great tunes to listen to while studying. Having a set playlist is great, but listening to the same study songs can get boring so it’s always nice to freshen up your playlists.

Keep calm and study on. 

Originally published on April 8, 2015

When I’m not struggling with being un-photogenic, I can be found near the back row of class, not because I think I’m cool, but because I like to observe my surroundings from the best view possible. I’ll also be at a random table somewhere, with Tims in hand and a Metro in front of me, turned to the crossword/Sudoku page.





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