Staff Picks: Study Music


It’s midterms week, and The Current staff is hitting the books. Here’s what we like to listen to while we study.

Grace Ducanis, copy editor, said repetitive, acoustic and guitar-based.

When I’m studying, I like to listen to music with a steady, calm beat. Classical music distracts me because it changes so often, so when studying, I prefer music that’s repetitive, acoustic and guitar-based. My favorite artists to listen to while I study are the Goo Goo Dolls, Phillip Phillips, Needtobreathe, James Bay and Lifehouse. Listening to music helps me drown out background noise, and since I’m so familiar with most of the songs from these artists, I don’t get caught up listening to the lyrics.

Jenna Kopec, features editor, said Daughtry and Hoobastank.

I have two go-to stations on Pandora that I like to listen to when I study: Daughtry and Hoobastank. Although both stations play similar songs, they provide a really relaxed and focused vibe to accompany the mountains of material I have to cover. A lot of the songs are throwbacks or from my favorite bands as well, so the lyrics aren’t distracting so much as comforting.

Ben Underhill, arts and entertainment editor, said instrumental post-rock.

As specific as it is, I enjoy listening to instrumental post-rock while I study. The laidback melodies and mellow feel of the songs creates an almost white noise feel while the song is played at a lower volume. Since it’s instrumental, there’s no lyrics that will distract you from your studies, and the genre itself doesn’t energize you or tire you too much.

Jacqueline Lytle, co-editor-in-chief, said anything without lyrics.

When I study, I usually just go on YouTube and type in ‘study music.’ Ninety-three percent of the time, the search offers a list of hourlong instrumental and/or classical music. I listen to the first few minutes of the top three and choose one. I’m not too picky, but if I listen to anything with lyrics, you’ll find me singing more than studying.

Morgan Thorn, business manager, said country music or rap.

Whenever I’m studying, I have to have noise in the background. Classical music makes me want to fall asleep, so I normally listen to country music or rap. This semester I’ve been listening to Spotify’s “New Boots” playlist or Turnpike Troubadours.

Alyssa Johns, sports editor, said instrumental.

I listen to instrumental music when I study. I can’t listen to anything that has words because I am very easily distracted. My current favorite is “to e.s.” by Portland Cello Project. I also love to listen to movie soundtracks. My favorite movie soundtrack is “Finding Nemo,” scored by Thomas Newman.

Erin Herbert, co-editor-in-chief, said Weezer.

I’m the kind of person who absolutely needs to have music playing in order to be productive. I have a playlist on Spotify that has about 30 songs from my favorite band, Weezer, that is always my go-to for studying. Weezer’s mix of hard rock riffs, catchy pop tunes and even slow ballads is perfect for any study session.

Aidan Rivas, visual design assistant, said Super Mario 64.

When I study, any music with lyrics tends to distract me from the content I’m trying my hardest to retain. To get around that, I listen to the game over theme from Super Mario 64 until several hours have passed.

Carli Lutz, chief of visual design, said acoustic pop punk songs.

When I study, I typically like to listen to music that won’t totally distract me from what I’m studying. I have a playlist I’ve made just for when I study full of acoustic pop punk songs because it lets me jam out to some of my favorite songs, while still letting me concentrate on my studies.

Danielle Pucillo, multimedia manager, said calming music.

In order to relax and stay focused, I enjoy calming music like “Six Underground” by the Sneaker Pimps or “Sugar” by the 90s grunge band Garbage. I also like to play Massive Attack and Skinny Puppy. I tend to play music that keeps my mind active, so I’ll throw in “Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks or “She’s On Fire” from the Scarface soundtrack.

Rachael Hirstein, news editor, said instrumental.

The music I listen to while I study is instrumental music. The lack of lyrics helps me focus and clear my mind so I can study efficiently. Piano instrumentals and orchestral music work best for me compared to acoustic guitar, and I feel at ease when I hear symphonies. Instrumental music is definitely my go-to when I need to prepare for a test.