Study Music for A New Semester

Second semester is now in full swing! With a week of classes under our belt, it’s back to doing the thing we Penn students know best— spending hours upon hours in the library. If you’re like me, you’re probably feeling resentful that it’s time to start working again. However, I may have something to make these short winter days and long winter nights a little easier: options for your new study playlist. If you wore yours out during finals to the point where you now associate certain songs/albums with specific exams or papers, I feel you. It’s time to diversify. Here are some of my favorites that I’m mostly not tired of yet:

When you need to focus for like, six hours straight: Ultimate Classical Chill Out from Decca Records

This collection is the perfect mix of calming, but not sleep-inducing classical music. It includes some fan favorites and some deep cuts. I’ve been listening to this since my junior year of high school. It’s a good one.

When you need to block out the world: Pythons by Surfer Blood

For me, this album is more for doing practice sets or other non-reading assignments. But it does the trick. In terms of critical evaluation, I definitely prefer their first album, Astrocoast. But if you want a wall of noise, look no further.

When you need a little energy boost: Worlds by Porter Robinson

This is another album that helps to drown everyone out, but less aggressively. This is one of the few electronic albums I regularly listen to, but it’s probably my favorite. The world (ha ha) of Porter’s music can transport me elsewhere and helps me focus more deeply.

When you just need something comforting and calming to remind you it’s going to be okay: Freudian by Daniel Caesar

This is a new addition to my study collection. For whatever reason, it was the only thing during finals that could get me to write my papers. I couldn’t even tell you why. What I do know is that I wrote 25+ pages listening to it. It really works.

When you’re tired of classical music but your muddled brain can’t focus listening to songs with words: Like Crazy (The Score) by Dustin O’Halloran

I’m a huge fan of movie scores, and I especially love Dustin O’Halloran, specifically Like Crazy. I saw the movie once when I was like 14, but it was the music that really stayed with me. It’s ethereal, exquisite, and still helps me drown out the boys from across the hall when they shout about sports.


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