If you are anything like me, I find it almost impossible to study without music because it can really help me to stay focused and motivated. There is nothing better than finding new albums and artists etc. that help you to make your working experience a bit more enjoyable and comfortable. Building on my previous/earlier article, I have offered more music suggestions so that you are not stuck on ideas and don’t spend more time searching for music than actually studying!
Please note that the links take you to the YouTube pages so that everyone can access the music, but these albums and playlists are all available on Spotify unless stated otherwise.
‘Vaughan Williams: Tallis Fantasia; Fantasia on Greensleeves; The Lark Ascending etc.’ (Academy of St. Martin in the Fields)
Vaughan Williams’ pieces are both marvellous and iconic with their intricate and refined melodies and orchestration. ‘The Lark Ascending’ has an innately calming and grounding feeling which can help you to feel less overwhelmed with all of your work.
‘The Most Relaxing Classical Music In The Universe’ (Various Artists)
Filled with a range of calming and timeless classical pieces, this wonderful album has a running time of 2 hours and 28 mins. This is particularly helpful in letting you compartmentalise your time while you’re working. You can alternate between Disc 1 and 2 so that it feels different every time you listen to it.
‘This is Debussy’ (Spotify Playlist)
Debussy’s music has an incredibly dream-like quality with pieces that glide from one to the next. ‘Clair de lune’ is just one of Debussy’s many gorgeous melodic masterpieces that feature in this playlist; my particular favourite is ‘Dances for Harp and Orchestra, L. 103: 2. Danse profane’ by Lavinia Meijer and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta.
Also, if there is a particular composer you enjoy listening to, another great place to explore is the ‘Composers’ section in Spotify’s ‘Classical’ genre category where you can find their oeuvre(s).
The specific tracklist is only on YouTube, but, as the title literally indicates, genuinely features some of the ‘most beautiful pieces of classical music’.
‘50 Relaxing Classics by Classic FM’ (Various Artists)
This compilation also features a range of some of the most famous and beautiful classical pieces.
‘Schumann: Kinderszenen; Kreisleriana’ (Martha Argerich)
Schumann’s piano pieces in this lovely album play with dynamism and tranquillity.
‘underrated female composers’ (nobody)
Classical music can be quite male heavy, so this playlist honours some classical composer queens who may have been overlooked in classical music spheres. There is a more extensive version of this playlist on Spotify, so more opportunity to find even more underrated female composers!
‘Drive My Car Original Soundtrack’ (Eiko Ishibashi)
This soundtrack for the Japanese film (Drive My Car) that won the Oscar for ‘Best International Feature Film’ in 2022 is a hidden delight; it provides us with an opportunity for more female representation as Eiko Ishibashi is an eclectic contemporary composer and musician.
This short album is perfect for a late night jazzy study session. Miles Davis composed and recorded this completely improvised atmospheric soundtrack in one night for the 1958 French noir film L’ascenseur por l’échafaud. You feel as though you are transported back to 1950s Paris.
‘Nigeria 70 – Funky Lagos’ (Various Artists)
I have recently been listening to a lot of Fela Kuti’s music (especially the iconic ‘Water No Get Enemy’ on repeat!) and I found this album as I was interested in listening to more 70s Nigerian funk/Afrobeats. This will definitely hype you up and add some groove to your studies with the dynamic rhythms, melodies and beats.
‘Smooth Jazz’ (Spotify Playlist)
This playlist is great for a late-night study session with its silky smooth tunes and instrumentation.
‘lofi beats’ (Spotify Playlist)
Lofi beats are really great for intense concentration, especially when you have pressing deadlines and need some external encouragement. The beat helps to hype you up and concentrate simultaneously. The playlist is considerably long and changes quite regularly so you are not stuck with the same songs and your mind doesn’t become accustomed to the tunes.
There are different playlists, such as Study lofi, Sleep lofi and Sad lofi among others so you are given a range of choices. There are always live streams on the YouTube channel and the Lofi Girl profile regularly updates the tracks on its Spotify playlists.
Although there are lyrics in the featured songs, they are rather muted and the rain ASMR sounds help you to focus. This is also really nice for a night-in filled with journaling and deep reflection.