Did you know music can help you study? Studies have shown that the right kind of music can help you relax your mind which enables you to concentrate better. Perfect to studying, doing homework or studying for a test or exam. It cuts down on distractions and helps you focus on your work.
The most cited study is the “Mozart effect” a set of research results that indicate that listening to Mozart’s music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning” which is the ability to think out long-term, more abstract solutions to logical problems that arise.
What Kind of Music Helps You Study?
There are many types of music that have been shown to put your mind in study mode. Here are a few of the most mentioned.
- Baroque classical music is said to have mind-boosting effects. Productivity writer David Allen of “Getting Things Done” fame has said he prefers music like Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3, and other Baroque tunes.
- Others say that music at 60 beats-per-minute is required to put the brain in a “bright and breezy” frame of mind. In this state your thinking and creativity are said to be easier. Concertos for Recorder – Telemann & Vivaldi is recommended.
- Since classical music may not be your thing there are other types of music that have been shown to increase your concentration levels. Ambient music or sound is designed to keep your brain engaged at a lower, subconscious level. Waterfalls, rain, seashore, whatever your taste.
- More modern electronic “Chill out” music genres such as Trip-hop, Nu jazz, Ambient House, Ambient Trance, New Age and other sub-genres of Down tempo are designed to relax the mind and allow it to roam.
- Eno’s “Music for Airports” has been noted as being useful for serious studying and deep concentration. This music was designed to relax stressed out travelers at the airport and put them at ease.
Okay, so most of these listed you may have never heard of or even care for. Just give them a try and see. It really does not matter what kind of music you listen to as long as it puts your mind in study mode.
Where To Find Music To Help You Study
SOMAFM.COM offers free streaming music and a iPhone app as well as apps for other types of phones. Suggested playlists are Drone Zone(Served best chilled, safe with most medications. Atmospheric textures with minimal beats.) and Secret Agent (The soundtrack for your stylish, mysterious, dangerous life. For Spies and PIs too!). Most music players are supported. I know it works with iTunes.
WWW.DI.FM – Digitally Imported offers free streaming electronic and dance music.
If you are a fan of Pandora (who isn’t) try out a playlist created by a Pandora employee Michael Zapruder called Ovals.
MUSOPEN.COM is a site that offers free MP3 downloads by many of the composers mentioned above.
Skrillex, 12th Planet, Foreign Beggars Verizon Wireless Theater September 29, 2011
Dubstep is to music what the Oakland Raiders are to the NFL. It's as if a gigantic group of people got together and, as a whole, screamed, "Forget your system, your norms and your traditions. We'll do things our own way, thank you."
Last night, at a jam-packed Verizon Wireless Theater, Skrillex put on quite the hard-hitting, bass-dropping performance, complete with as intricate of a light show as we've ever seen at a concert and a motion-tracking, pixilated animation of the star of the evening that slightly resembled the bad guy from Ferngully.
They should just be honest and call this musical genre "Primal." If someone were to take a video of the crowd from the stage and slow it down, it would make a perfect music video to the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind."
All throughout the show, petite, young women strutted past us, wearing only their bra and panties but also dressed in fluffy Pikachu and panda hats.
And they didn't look very warm.
Being that we still haven't quite pegged this genre, we talked to a few fans about why they were draw to the music.
One young man we spoke with told us that he thinks dubstep is the current generation's music.
"You know how, in the '60s and '70s, people weren't making rock and roll to make money, they were making it to make good music? That's what I think dubstep is today," he said. He then went on to talk about mainstream music and how it's shoved down our throats on the radio, saying, "That stuff just doesn't appeal to me, man. But dubstep is real."
As valid and well-thought-out a point as we've ever heard at a concert.
Dubstep artists are more akin to DJs than anything, we were also told. They play and remix one another's tracks, and it's all about keeping the crowd going for as long as possible.
Besides being a lot of fun to listen to, dubstep is also something of a blessing for guys like us, who were born without much (if any) rhythm. The beat changes so often that we have plenty of chances to get back on track when we're off. Seriously, you can march/walk to the beat and, as long as your raise your knees to your chest and swing your hips, it's considered dancing.
And there's so much going on at the shows, it's impossible to get bored. Last night, we watched a young man get dragged out by two enormous bouncers - he began to struggle with them, then thought better of it - and later, we saw him put in handcuffs and placed in the back of a squad car. Seconds later, a man in front of us picked up his girlfriend, who wrapped her legs around him and proceeded to hump him to the beat.
Now that was a first.
Near the end of the show, Skrillex asked the ladies to scream, then the men. He went on to say that most dubstep shows consist of about 80 percent males and 20 percent females. But last night, he said, it sounded pretty even, so he asked everyone to put on their dancing shoes and began to remix Biggie Smalls' "Hypnotize."
"Cinema" closed out the show, as lighters and cell phones filled the air, and the crowd chanted, "You are a cinema... And I could watch you forever."
12th Planet and Foreign Beggars both put on solid showings as well. 12th Planet played remixes of "Still Tippin'" and "Chunk Up Tha Deuce," paying homage to the our very own City of Screwston.
Never before had so many young, white, suburban kids sung along in unison to rap. At least, not that we've seen.
In spite of not having any hype men or dancers onstage for any of his set, 12th Planet had this crowd by the balls, and they loved every minute of it. He kept dropping the beat just before or after the crowd expected/wanted him to.
It was like musical foreplay, without the blue balls.
The Foreign Beggars, meanwhile, were a diverse three-piece consisting of one white guy, one black guy and a Hispanic guy. They were about 60 percent dub step, 40 percent rap. While the white guy spun vinyl and dropped beats, the other two rapped at lightning speed.
To be completely honest, for most of the show, we couldn't tell if everyone was having a great time and dancing or if they were all terrified and having seizures. Either way, it was a lot of fun to watch.
Personal Bias: Are you familiar with William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man"? Well, we've often wondered what a spoken-word interpretation of dubstep would sound like. Last night was homework for the next open-mike night in which we secure a slot.
Overheard in the Crowd: "There's a line to get outside to smoke? What is this, Nazi Germany?"
"Some of these people could have at least showered before they came here..."
"I don't normally dress like this, I promise."
"What exactly is dismounting?" "It's kind of like doing the robot and having a seizure."
The Crowd: If you're a fan of women's bodies, you're automatically a fan of dubstep. The girls in attendance last night were basically naked. Seriously.
Random Notebook Dump: Houston is the fattest city in the world, right? Forget getting a gym membership; bring Skrillex to town twice a week, and our citizens will trim down quick.
Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.
Matt is a regular contributor to the Houston Press’ music section. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in print journalism and global business. Matt first began writing for the Press as an intern, having accidentally sent his resume to the publication's music editor instead of the news chief. After half a decade of attending concerts and interviewing musicians, he has credited this fortuitous mistake to divine intervention.