If you’re a student, you’re probably in the middle of finishing up a dissertation, writing up essays or revising for exams right now. I’ve got two assignments due in the next two weeks which I am furiously typing up, in between blogging breaks and scrolling through Twitter!
One thing that I find helps me to keep concentration is listening to music. This year I’ve found that the type of music which helps me concentrate actually depends on my surroundings. I thought I would take you through some of the albums and music types which I use to help me write, so load up your Spotify or whatever it is you use, and get searching for these concentration-boosters!
When I’m home alone I always think that the silence is going to aid my concentration – there are no screaming 4 year olds running around like baby elephants, no 19 year olds singing in crazy voices, and no 45 year olds raising their voice in attempts to keep the peace. However, the silence doesn’t help! I find at these times what I need is something that doesn’t have words, just to make some background noise and stop that pesky silence from rousing distracting thoughts in my head. When I need this kind of music, I search Vitamin String Quartet in Spotify and listen to anything by them, as they do string quartet versions of lots of popular songs, OR I turn to this playlist I discovered a year or two ago on Spotify (For Those Exams and Papers). It is filled with classical music and film scores, it really is amazing. There’s nothing like writing an essay whilst getting revved up by the music from the Avengers!
When there are people in the house I need something that is going to drown out the screaming, singing and peace-keeping. For this I like music which doesn’t make me want to go out and party, but that has singing and is still quite catchy. When I was doing an assignment I in March, I discovered that the new Bombay Bicycle Club album paired with Haim’s debut album was the perfect duo to have shuffled and on repeat (here). My favourites have got to be Feel by Bombay Bicycle Club and Forever by Haim. Another type of music I like when people are home is songs from musicals – my two favourites at the minute are Wicked and Frozen. They’re both good for when a 15 minute break is starting to call my name, and I just need to finish off a few bits before I leave the laptop, as I know all the words and have a bit of a sing to keep me going.
When I’m in the library for some reason the above just doesn’t cut it and songs that would usually have me dancing are what I need. This is the same whether I’m in one of the group working areas, or I’m in the silent study areas. Lets be honest, silent study areas are never silent, especially late at night when no librarians are there to shush anyone! The voices of people I don’t know are more distracting than those of people I live with. I think this is why I need more obnoxious music to drown them out and keep my attention on my work! When I’m in the library I tend to go for this playlist called Back2College. It has everything from Iggy Azalea to Avicii to Tinie Tempah, but it’s all stuff you would hear out in a club or at a party!
So there you have it, my essay-writing musical essentials! What do you listen to when you need to concentrate? Will you be giving any of my recommendations a try? Also, check out a post I did a year ago for more recommendations here.