For those who like to work while listening to music, the mere thought of pushing yourself to study with the same albums playing on repeat can be tear inducing. It can be incredibly difficult to find the right sounds and atmospheres that you either want or need in order to focus. I know that sometimes I procrastinate by trying to find music to listen to while I work, pretending to be productive. So, to aid you in your own productivity, I have offered here some suggestions of albums that help me with maintaining concentration and driving me to finish before deadlines.
- Pride and Prejudice – OST by Dario Marianelli, Jean-Yves Thibaudet
This therapeutic soundtrack from the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel is absolutely perfect for studying at any time of the day. With a running time of 40 minutes, the music can accompany you through short study bursts. You can channel your inner Elizabeth Bennet, and realise that all the information in your brain does, in fact, actually make sense. My other film soundtrack recommendations are the Sense and Sensibility – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, and for some slightly different sounds My Neighbor Totoro Soundtrack Collection.
- Chopin: 24 Preludes Op. 28 by Frédéric Chopin, Claudio Arrau
A step away from his famous and beautiful Nocturnes, Chopin’s piano preludes are simply stunning and flow gracefully from one piece to the next. Need I say more?
- Hats by The Blue Nile
This album certainly has a late-night study session vibe to it with its easy beats, soft vocals and calm melodies, which allow you to focus and feel at ease when the world and all your deadlines suddenly become overwhelming. It is really difficult to articulate with words the wonder that this album offers – it truly matches the feeling of being home in those cold and dark British evenings.
- The Essential Stan Getz: The Getz Songbook by Stan Getz
Stan Getz’s saxophone is easily one of the greatest gifts: the energy that the music offers helps you get through that horrendous amount of reading, but also possesses a real sense of ease. There are some Bossa Nova classics that conclude the album, as if they are treats to congratulate you on your efforts! In a similar vein, the Bossa Nova playlist created by Spotify is a hidden, wonderful gem!
- Buena Vista Social Club by Buena Vista Social Club
This internationally acclaimed album elicits encouraging sounds that are perfect for a productive morning study session with its perky, sunny Cuban rhythms. Although there are lyrics in Spanish, I personally find that lyrics in other languages hardly affect my concentration as my brain does not search for meanings. For those studying Spanish, this album is also perfect for that cheeky feeling of knowing that you are working and simultaneously feeling as if you are revising the language.