Ready, Set, Study!


By: Chloe Gamber, Head Academic Writer

Music is a subject that everyone at least has some personal connection to. Music spans throughout history and cultures for many uses such as for entertainment of different sorts. It is very well known that classical is a prominent source of music to help with focus when studying. But really, any form of music can help focus depending on the person. 

According to desktime.com, studies have shown that music helps stimulate the brain. When asking Emily Croxton about how music helps her focus, she responded by saying, ”Believe it or not I tend to listen to very upbeat music when I’m writing papers. I honestly use the same music I work out to. Something about my work out playlist gets me very determined to get things done. When I study I tend to listen to more chill and wistful music. I memorize things a lot easier when I listen to songs I can sing from memory. When it comes to playing music, I have to play something that I love. When you play a piece that you can play or listen to for hours, it’s more than just notes on a piece of paper. It takes over your whole body. You’re like in this whole other world at that point. When I’m not in the right headspace, practicing my instrument always seemed to help get my focus back.”

Photo of Emily Croxton; Take by: Sadie Miyler

One study claims that nine out of ten workers have better focus when listening to music. DeskTime goes further into the nature of video game music specifically. As Emily explained that not only listening to music helps her focus, but playing and reading music can help develop concentration while relaxing your body and mind. For more insight about game soundtracks, a video from Desktime goes deeper into focus from gaming soundtracks. Julia Gifford goes into specifics in the following video:

Julia explains that music allows a release of dopamine that not only helps with emotions, but with cognitive behavior. The soundtracks for video games specifically “1. Sets the mood 2. Keeps good rhythm, 3. Never distracts, 4. Gives sense of achievement and 5. Motivates the player to continue playing. This can also play into work, video game music can make you feel  motivated to continue your work. 

This is a list of what are considered the top gaming soundtracks for studying: 1. Halo, 2. Paper Mario: TTYD, 3. FTL: Faster than Light, 4. Legend of Zelda, 5. Animal Crossing, 6. MegaMan. A quote saying that “I find this soundtrack useful for tasks that require a lot of creative thinking or problem solving. It also tends to take the boredom out of mundane tasks like data entry.” There are other statements made about all of these soundtracks, but really each soundtrack gives a unique experience to whoever enjoys it! This does not necessarily mean everyone should go after these specific game soundtracks either. 

Photo made by: https://i.redd.it/0p3xwcwsyu541.png

Another source, polygon.com, leads to Mario Kart being an excellent soundtrack overall through videos of intense studying in previous years on TikTok and on youtube.There was also buzz on Twitter about how fast people could type a paper when listening to Mario Kart music! I have had great experience with trying out different soundtracks to games I enjoy, but I definitely do not feel that Mario Kart music is the overall solution for speed when doing homework. 

When considering the soundtrack I feel you should also consider what the tasks are in the game. Fast paced games such as Mario Kart can make you feel like you need to type faster or read faster, but when it comes to the skills needed for the game it involves fast pace motion and the ability to use power ups. The focus for this game does not involve reading or tasks that take as much critical thought as other games. Some games that require more critical thinking and thought process may tend to have a more suited soundtrack. Whether you decide to choose a relaxing track to do your homework or an upbeat playlist for working out, or maybe even your favorite video game soundtrack, we hope you find what helps you most to stay productive! 

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