In high school, I was warned that I shouldn’t study while listening to music with lyrics since it meant part of my brain space was being used on listening to the words—and it turns out, that’s mostly true. As long as it’s not distracting and you enjoy it, music can be beneficial during studying. I’m not much for classical music, so here are some slightly geeky movie scores to listen to during this finals season. We need all of the geek we can get.
- The Harry Potter Franchise
There are eight movies’ worth of score here—they should definitely get you through finals season! Whenever I hear “Fireworks” from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it makes me viscerally happier—that’s the power of music (and some good ol’ mischief from Fred and George!). Here’s all of the soundtracks combined.
- The Star Trek Franchise
There's a whopping 48 hours of score on this Star Trek playlist, which includes the TV show, movies, and even video games. Don't be like young Kirk—study for your exams and don't cheat (or do anything that could be construed as cheating by your school's governing body).
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
This soundtrack is so nostalgic—listen to “The Wardrobe” and you’re immediately taken back to little Lucy pushing past old coats to discover that the wardrobe in the spare ‘oom leads to a magical snowy world. Spotify has the full album here.
- The Lord of the Rings Franchise
Finals are like one big adventure, so you need some adventure-y music to set the scene (and also to make you feel like you’re in Hobbiton or Mordor or anywhere that’s not the campus library). There’s a reason why “Concerning Hobbits” is number one on Howard Shore’s artist profile! Here’s all three of the LOTR movies and here’s all of the Hobbit movies.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Disney Movies
There are a lot of great compilation playlists for Disney music! If acoustic guitar is your thing, check out Spotify’s Disney Guitar playlist. If you’d prefer the original versions, Walt Disney Records created Disney Score to Study To (it starts with “Married Life” from Up—get the tissues ready).
- The Star Wars Franchise
You didn't think I was going to do John Williams dirty and not include the iconic Star Wars scores, right? If nothing else, The Imperial March should motivate you to keep studying (or else!). Spotify created a Best of Star Wars playlist for exactly a time such as this.
Best of all, making your own personalized study playlist is super easy! Pick your favorite score from your favorite movies and you’ve got an instant mood-booster for finals season.