Metal is the best study music

May 30, 2022 — by Aiden Ye
Counterintuitive choice has a way of focusing my mind.

To all those who scoff at listening to metal as study music, give it a try before writing it off. It really is good at blocking out parental conversations or other distractions.For me, studying requires peace. Without the luxury of noise-canceling headphones, it’s nearly impossible to focus for my upcoming calculus exam when my parents are blasting a movie in the background or arguing about which colleges I won’t be able to get into. As a result, I’ve developed a tendency to listen to more aggressive music not typically associated with “studying.”

While others might listen to lo-fi or classical pieces, I prefer psytrance or metal. Ironically, this is because I listen to music in order to block out excess noise, rather than to pay close attention to the intricacies of the string quartet.

These two genres can then be divided into those with lyrics and those without. For the purpose of studying, I believe it’s absurd to listen to songs with lyrics. From previous experience, it’s impossible to read a chapter of “All Quiet on the Western Front” while listening to Kanye West. Just reading is already hard enough for my sleep-deprived brain — I simply cannot take in two sources of words at the same time.

One of my favorite songs to study to is “Guitarmass” by Infected Mushroom. This song retains the same tempo and feel throughout its entirety. I find this style the easiest to study to, as it doesn’t break your concentration by throwing something completely new at you. It also happens to fit quite well as a 5-hour loop, as the ending leads into the beginning of the song, which is just an added benefit for long study hours.

The difference between working with music and without has been apparent in my study sessions, as I often get distracted by outside noises when working in silence. The simple addition of background music has helped me tremendously in improving my concentration.  

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