10 best study songs

Nick Botkin

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Click here to listen to The Collegian’s “10 Best Study Songs” playlist. 


There is no better companion to study with than music itself. Faster-paced music can fill you with energy and fuel your optimism. Slower music can soothe the soul, relax one’s muscles and act as a wonderful stress reliever, especially after a long day. 

1.  Debussy-“Claire De Lune”

There is something soothing, yet ethereal in Debussy’s famous 1905 work, which evokes images of a beautiful moonlight. This might be the song to listen to after a truly horrible day, when it is tough to concentrate.

Warning: Listen with a box of tissues. That is an order.

2. John Denver-“Rocky Mountain High”

John Denver is not full of shit, contrary to a certain character’s proclamation in “Dumb and Dumber.” As one of our official state songs, Denver’s ode to Colorado is truly powerful. Ever the wordsmith, he reminds us to take a breath and absorb the beauty. Images of “cathedral mountains” and starlight shadows “softer than a lullaby” can make us truly lucky to be in Colorado and remind us of the outside world as we study.

3. Debussy-“Reverie”

Another slow and soothing piece from Claude Debussy.  The title says it all. This piece will transport you to a world of hope, desire, possibility and dreams. Listen to this one at the tail end of the night.

4. Tchaikovsky-“1812 Overture”

Easily one of the best-known pieces of classical music, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece is fast-paced and full of action, stirring the soul, especially the famous crescendo, replete with cannons and bells.  Paying homage to Imperial Russia’s defense against Napoleon, this stirring piece can help you conquer that Comp paper or beastly science project.


5.  Afroman-“Because I Got High”

A hilarious tune. A solid beat. Who could ask for anything more? It is hard not to feel a little energy after this one. Afroman’s masterpiece follows the tragicomic adventures of a character whose life is adversely affected by smoking weed. With lyrics like, “I could have cheated and I could have passed, but then I got high.” It is hard not to let the stress go and put our lives in perspective. And yes, it can also serve as a reminder not to get high before class. Or when trying to clean one’s room.

6. Afroman-“Crazy Rap.”

Another piece just bursting with energy and lyrics too hilariously dirty to quote here. I will say comic references to Colonel Sanders’ wife and Dolly Parton are well worth the listen. Also a good piece worth listening to on a study break, while cruising.

7. Tchaikovsky-“Marche Slave”

Written to demonstrate Russia’s support for Serbia in the Serbo-Turkish War of 1876-1878, this piece is particularly apropos if you are feeling victorious. Also, listen back-to-back with the 1812 Overture.

8. Elvis-“Hound Dog”

Elvis makes you want to dance and move about with swagger. Life is always a little more worthwhile with a little of the King, even if you are studying for a math test. Plus, a trip back to the`50s is always a fun escape.

9. Grieg-“Morning Mood.”

A stirring, yet joyful piece that evokes the beauty of morning, this is good to listen to when the beginning of the day stress hits, and you have last minute studies to do. The opening chords alone evoke a trip to another world, and a peacefulness hard to find in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

10.  Massenet-“Meditation”

Yes. Another classical piece. But, classical music is thought to be particularly good for study habits and the brain overall. This piece, from Massenet’s 1894 opera, “Thais” evokes a mood of reflection and contemplation and sheer joy.

Collegian reporter Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com. His Twitter handle is @dudesosad.