Tips to your very own study playlist, courtesy of moon148. 🙂
That’s right! You can actually embed your own playlist, and because I’m recommending a playlist rather than reviewing these songs or anything, you can actually save it and listen to all these songs while working/studying. It’s a win-win situation. XD
Here’s a Spotify playlist (the songs are almost the same):
As I spend quite a lot of time listening to C-pop, I’ve long since embedded it into my daily life: in car rides, when I, albeit rather rarely, work out, or, more commonly, take walks or hikes, and as I often do, when I’m working on homework, studying for a test, or even drawing or doing work on my own.
But aside from sharing my own playlist, I did say that I would give out tips, so here we go:
1. Keep it calm, soothing music.
This should be a “no duh” because the point of the music is to help your mind focus. While I can’t speak for other people, I just can’t focus on my work when it’s completely silent in the house; my brain needs some sort of background noise or music. (When I’m taking a test it’s a different story, though. Make sure you’re not completely reliant on this.)
I’ve found that I tend to focus more on the ticking of the clock rather than, well, my work without this sort of thing. I also tend to feel incredibly lonely and isolated without the accompanying music, therefore I listen to it. Secretly I envy the people who can just focus on their work, but oh well. When I’m taking a test it’s a different story, though, because there are other people in the room, too ( . . .?) Yet if I’m taking a make-up test I feel incredibly awkward. I don’t know; I’m just peculiar like that.
C-pop is full of quieter music; obviously there are EDM tracks floating around, but soothing tends to sort of be its trademark. Having grown up listening to all these Mandarin artists (thank my parents), it then means that I listen to ballads like all the freaking time and therefore have a higher standard of what is considered “calm and soothing”. To understand what is considered “my standard”, look no further than the provided playlist.
For example: People consider “Brave New World” to be soothing. (Me: I suppose the beginning, but how even)
Obviously don’t listen to the sort of music that will immediately grab your attention, like metal, and keep the volume comparatively low. Normally I don’t even wear earphones/headphones while doing work because it’s not all that good for your ears, and limits the volume. When I wear earphones, it sort of forces me to focus on the song rather than, well, what I’m supposed to be focused on. In that sense I suppose I’m lucky to not have any siblings.
2. Start off your playlist with a song you quite like.
While I would strongly advise against listening to a playlist chock-full of all your all-time favs, EVEN if they are all calm and soothing (that doesn’t even apply to me >.<), it’s cool to start it off with one of your favorites . Remember that this song in particular should also be calm and soothing, but you should like it a lot, too.
This isn’t particularly necessary, but it just gets me into the mood for homework and/or studying when I might want to maybe go on the Internet and procrastinate.
In terms of this playlist, the first track is Hebe Tien‘s “Contradiction”, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Hebe’s voice is rather soft, too, therefore you can easily just dig into your work + the music and you won’t even take notice of when “Contradiction” ended.
Other recommendations: Hebe’s “Insignificance”, A-Lin‘s “平衡感”, JJ Lin’s “Mermaid”, Juno Mak + Kay Tse’s “Rashomon”, Tanya Chua‘s “Parabola”
3. Don’t listen to songs that you absolutely love.
OR don’t listen to your ultimate bias’ songs because let’s face it —
I basically listen to them 24/7 you will not focus on your work like that. If you don’t have a bias like that, then whatever.
But moon148 is hypocritical — I recommend that, aside from the very first song, you don’t do that, but it just so happens that there are 1.5 JJ Lin works on the playlist — 0.5 more than any other artist. Why? Just . . . don’t ask why.
Really, though. DON’T get the songs that you are emotionally attached to, or like “The Gardens” which made me sob the first time. Also don’t get those really depressing or emotional love ballads, unless you find them nice to listen to but not that effective in terms of emotion upon first listening to it. However, first let me enjoy Stefanie Sun‘s beautiful voice in “天使的指纹”.
4. Get songs by singers with comparatively weaker, softer, and more generic voices.
Don’t worry — they’re all over the C-pop industry
(which is kind of sad). That way you don’t really have to focus on their voice.
However, be careful — Diana Wang (she can sing so I’m sorry for including her) and Rainie Yang are kind of off-limits . . . because they can’t reach the lower notes without sounding really breathy/ strained. Probably that applies to all the weaker singers, but Diana and Rainie’s composers for whatever reason aren’t taking the hint.
An exception would be Diana’s【刚刚好】because of the genius who composed it. XD But really — those sort of breathy, strained notes not only take away from the song, but also will just distract when I’m focusing on other work.
I’ve included songs from all three members of S.H.E., Twins‘【SNS】, Fiona Sit . . . you name it. As long as the song is pleasant to listen to, it will work. It can be pop or even electronic, just as long as the instrumentals aren’t all that powerful. To ensure that, you could get songs by singers with comparatively weaker, softer, and more generic voices.
I like Fiona Sit, but let’s face it: the only thing that is limiting her songs is her own voice. BUT I could happily get my work done with her ballads, pop tracks, and R&B (she’s Khalil Fong-influenced).
In fact, what I often do is go on Spotify and play her artist playlist while doing homework, or find a song of hers and use the Mix YouTube provides.
5. Instrumentals and/or foreign language music.
Especially when you have to really focus, it’s best to listen to instrumental music or foreign language music because you won’t concentrate on what they’re singing about. If it’s regular studying, you probably shouldn’t, either, but this takes away any risk.
Unfortunately, it just so happens that I rarely ever listen to either.
In terms of foreign language music I thus far have two recommendations: Namie Amuro’s【Golden Touch】, and HIGH4 & IU’s【Not Spring, Love, or Cherry Blossoms 봄,사랑,벚꽃 말고】, which is like the only Korean collaboration (that isn’t international) that I know of. They also both fall into the cute and catchy category, which is always nice.
As to instrumental, basically I listen to the instrumental tracks that JJ Lin and Khalil Fong include in their albums, and that’s pretty much it. I included JJ Lin’s【Flashback】, but I have to say right now that【Prologue】is pure amazingness, which is why I couldn’t include it. Go. Listen. To. It.
I would also recommend Chopin’s Nocturne Opus 9 No. 2. I SWEAR you will have heard this before, but it’s nice to incorporate into your study lineup.
I haven’t really used this playlist in particular all that much, because I created it for this blog post. Yes, I really did — to introduce you to 19 different artistes and how they could be part of your daily studying.
Normally I don’t even create a playlist; I just play Fiona Sit on Spotify or YouTube Mix, use YouTube Mix, or just plain rely on Spotify.
If you go on “Browse” and scroll down to “Genres/Moods”, you can choose from a variety of different playlists based on what you want to do — chill (it works for studying, too — kind of), focus, work out, you name it.
When you click on whatever category there are then a ton of playlists to choose from. It’s amazing. (Besides — it actually has C-pop.)