As Whitman’s new class of 2015 learns how to balance upcoming midterms, hectic study weekends and late-night cram sessions, music seems to be a necessary distraction and a helpful tool to get through it all.
This past week, The Pioneer polled new Whitman students about their needs and opinions regarding study music. Most agreed that the best study music consists of more laid-back, less beat-driven music.
“I can’t listen to screaming music,” said first-year Franchesca Cortés.
Fellow first-year Lauren Platman agreed.
“I prefer more mellow, less repetitive music. I also definitely can’t study and listen to music I’ll sing along to,” she said.
But while certain study soundtrack needs were more general, some students offered up specific study music likes and dislikes.
“Definitely no Wu-Tang Clan,” said first-year Alex Beard.
“No hip-hop,” said first-year Matthew Nelson. “I like baroque. Handel is the best to listen to because it is so relaxing.”
Other popular study music included Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Beirut, RJD2, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Franz Ferdinand, Deerhunter and Department of Eagles. However, some students preferred no music or non-lyrical music.
“I typically don’t listen to music with lyrics while studying,” said first-year Annabelle Marcovici. “But when I do listen to music, I listen to Venetian Snares. It’s a breakcore band. I feel like it helps me think faster.”
“Music can be kind of distracting,” said first-year Ruth Hwang, adding that she sometimes listens to recordings of rain to help her concentrate. Marcovici expressed similar methods.
“When I just want to stay focused I listen to white noise on my headphones,” said Marcovici.
“When I’m doing math or anything with numbers, I like to listen to rap,” said first-year Henry Allen. “But when I’m reading I can’t listen to anything. I feel like when I’m listening to music I’m either trying to learn the lyrics or trying to sing along; therefore, I find that music can really hurt my concentration.”