How Alexandre Desplat Saved My Exam Season

I am the kind of studier who gets distracted very easily. Once I am in the zone, I am unstoppable, but getting there is an uphill battle.

I quickly learned that “in the zone” meant no music with lyrics. There are actually studies that show studying while listening to music with lyrics is ineffective since it distracts your brain. The Focus section in Spotify soon became my new best friend. However, I found that soft piano put me straight to sleep and electronic concentration could not keep my focus.

I decided to try the "Soundtrack for Study" playlist and was pleasantly surprised. For the best songs, I would save them for my own personal study playlist. I soon discovered all my favourite songs were by the same composer- Alexandre Desplat.

Desplat is a French composer who has written the score for some of Hollywood’s biggest movies including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Twilight: New Moon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Argo, The Imitation Game, The Danish Girl and The Grand Budapest Hotel, just to name a few. He has won 2 Academy Awards for Best Original Score including the award for The Shape of Water just last month.

Considering my pull to Desplat, I decided to search his name on Spotify and make a playlist from there. After getting rid of a few songs I found a bit too dramatic for studying or that including vocals I ended up with an 11-hour study playlist masterpiece.

I love the playlist, especially on shuffle, because every song has its own feel since it belongs to its own movie. Soundtrack scores also tend to have a fuller sound compared to a single piano or string piece and are, hence, more exciting to listen to. Songs on a soundtrack are also usually shorter, some only about 1 minute long. This prevents me getting tired of a song, subconsciously keeping me alert since the music keeps changing. Considering the playlist is 11 hours long it also takes a while for me to get tired of it.

So next time you need to really get in the zone, turn your phone on airplane mode, grab a coffee, find a seat in the library, bring your headphones and pull up some Alexandre Desplat.

For those of you with Spotify here is my playlist to make things easier. 


Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Spotify link