Music Majors Share Music to Listen to While Studying

Photo of a student studying.

Need some tunes to help you study for finals? Here are some recommendations from upperclassmen music majors.

The "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part album cover.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

“It’s one of my favorite minimalist pieces. It repeats over and over, so it’s good to listen to when you’re trying to focus. I love how delicate it sounds; it reminds me of a lullaby. A couple years ago, I was reading a book called ‘The Rest Is Noise’ by Alex Ross. Pärt was mentioned in it, so I wanted to dive into his music more,” says senior Kimmy Speers, a Music Education: Instrumental major from Morristown, NJ (Morris County).

The "3am Talk" by Icemann album cover.

3Am Talk – Icemann

“Chill vibe. I created the song myself,” says first-generation junior Justin Nunez, a Music Industry major with a concentration in Technology and a transfer from Kean University from Jackson, NJ (Ocean County).

Lisa holding a clarinet outside by the Rowan Hall pond.

Nocturnes (all 21) – Chopin

“It is very calming and relaxing. Chopin is very popular in the classical music world, and played very often by pianists,” says senior Lisa Harkisheimer, a Music Education Instrumental major from Sicklerville, NJ (Gloucester County).

Melissa wearing a Rowan sweatshirt while walking on the beach.

Etude No.2 – Phillip Glass

“Phillip Glass is a minimalist artist. His songs are thought provoking and stimulating to the ear. I studied minimalist artists in my theory course a year ago and found the compositions of Phillip Glass. I use his Playlist on Spotify to focus when I’m studying and thought it might help other students,” say junior Melissa Breslin of Washington Township, NJ (Gloucester County), a Music Education Instrumental major and transfer student from Rowan College at Gloucester County. 

Liz sitting on a bench.

Rêverie – Claude Debussy (or really anything by Debussy)

“It relaxes me without putting me to sleep. I discovered the song by researching romantic composers on my own and also hearing his music in my music classes,” says senior Liz Cicali, a Music Education major with a specialization in instrumental music from Absecon, NJ (Atlantic County).

Sunshine holding a guitar while smiling outside.

 The Brain Dance – Animals as Leaders

“This will stimulate your mind and senses in every way. You will be awakened to learn and receptive to new information. I discovered the song at a concert,” says senior Sunshine Jones, a Music Education Vocal Major and Classical Guitar minor from Sewell, NJ (Gloucester County).

The "Viberations" by Iman Omari album cover.

L.A. Vibes – Iman Omari 

“Iman Omari is the king of chill and loops. He’s a producer that makes dream like beats. He can chop any song up and claim it as his own. A lot of his music doesn’t contain words, he has a beat tape that has nothing but loops and it really helps me study. Hearing the beats allow me to read, think and focus on my tasks. I’m able to listen to music and concentrate, that’s all I need in this world. Music and focus,” says first-generation college junior Phinesse Scott, a Music Industry major and transfer student from Rowan College at Burlington County

Phinesse adds: “I discovered Iman Omari through YouTube. You can really go down a never-ending hole on YouTube. I typically like to search for beats on there and I came across one of his old tracks and it was at that moment I became a fan and looked for every song I could find that he made.”

The "We the Kings" album cover.

Check Yes Juliet – We The Kings

“It’s a good song and catchy but by studying to this song it helps you to think back to what you read right before an exam if you listen to it again. It’s a popular pop rock song similar to artists I listen to,” says first-generation college junior Amanda Uretsky, a Music Industry major with a concentration in Technology and Business from Lumberton, NJ (Burlington County).

Emileigh smiling for a photo.

Imagine Paris – Daniel Paterok

“I find this song very relaxing, which I believe is important when doing homework or studying. Plus, I find the melody really pretty and catchy. I found this song on a public Spotify playlist that I sometimes listen to when I study,” says junior Emileigh Zane, a Music Industry major with a Business concentration who transferred from Rowan College of South Jersey and is from Penns Grove, NJ (Salem County).

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Story by:
Bianca Torres, senior music industry major 

Header photo courtesy of:
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