I hear a symphony

An orchestra.

A cold Friday night a few weeks ago, Swifties, orchestra goers, and everyone in-between gathered at The Meeting Hall to listen to the Joseph Freer Quartet perform instrumental renditions of Taylor Swift’s greatest hits. 

The air was cold and the night was wet but thank goodness for the candlelit venue – and my cardigan – for keeping us warm. Everything just felt so magical, I was enchanted for sure! 

Whether or not you’re an orchestra fan, I highly recommend spending a Friday night being lulled by the sweet sounds of a quartet. I have always loved instrumentals. I think it’s powerful how some people have the ability to move you simply by putting a couple of notes next to each other – no words and yet you can feel the emotions they try to convey so strongly.  

It’s also my go-to genre of music to listen to while studying (I’m actually listening to Swan Lake as I’m writing this). It has been said that the calming notes of the instruments can help you focus better on your work, and I agree. For me, I find it a little bit distracting to study while listening to songs with lyrics. It’s especially harder to focus when I have to do my readings or notes because I need my brain to be 100% present to process what’s in front of me, and it’s not very helpful when my songs just make me want to dance.

So, listening to classical music has served a lot in heightening my focus during my study sessions. It’s also just good at blocking out conversations around me because if I can’t focus when Lorde is playing, there’s no way I won’t be intrigued by the classroom drama the table next to me is discussing.

While the calmness of classical music has made my studying sessions enjoyable, I also think that it has helped me get into the mood for studying. You’ve probably seen it, those classical playlist videos on YouTube with the most absurd and niche titles like “You’re studying in a haunted library with ghosts” or “Studying like a scholar in the baroque period”. Most of them cater to the dark academia aesthetic. Now I’m not claiming myself to be a devotee of the world of dark academia, but I would be lying to say that I don’t enjoy listening to those types of playlists while I’m studying. Something about the progressions of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake gets me so hyped up when I’m writing out my assignments. I truly do feel like a 19th-century scholar who just made a horrifying discovery on something. Without me even knowing, I’ve gotten through half of my work.

That’s not to say that listening to every other genre of music won’t help you in studying – that’s just not true. Some of you might enjoy a good 70s hits playlist or Doja Cat’s discography or maybe you like to keep your headphones off. All those options are totally cool so long as they work best for you!

Tagged in What messes with your head, music, study