Where to find music for studying

The word ‘auditory’ relates to the sense of hearing. We know that people have different learning styles and that people with an auditory learning style learn best through hearing. This means that you’re able to absorb information by listening to it – this works great in a classroom environment where your teacher is explaining the content.

The downside to being an auditory learner is that silence can be distracting! It is almost impossible for an auditory learner to absorb information by sitting in a silent room and reading notes.

Have a look at this blog post with study tips for auditory learners, including starting a study club and studying somewhere where you’re able to make a bit of noise.

If neither of those are options for you, then consider studying with music. Because you’re an auditory learner, you’re bound to be distracted by lyrics and complicated musical compositions so it’s important to find the right music to study to. Think background noise, rather than the main act at a concert.

With a good library of studying music, you can pop your headphones on in a quiet library or room and make it easier to focus. You could even experiment with reserving certain playlists for specific subjects: the familiar music might jog your memory the next time you pick up where you left off.

Here are some tips for choosing the right music to study to (as well as where to look):

  • Choose instrumental music, rather than music that contains vocals.
  • The music should verge on boring. In other words, if you would be unable to listen to the musical piece when you’re not studying, then it’s probably a good bet.
  • That said, you shouldn’t hate the music. Don’t choose something that is completely off-putting – it should make you feel relaxed, not on edge.
  • Classical music by maestros like Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Tchaikovsky are a good place to start. If you can’t bear these compositions and want something instrumental but modern, then try musical scores from movies by composers like Hans Zimmer and Thomas Newman.
  • Don’t play it too loud. The music should fade into the background, rather than dominate your thoughts.
  • If you find music distracting then try nature sounds such as the sound of the ocean, whale and dolphin calls, etc. The idea is for the music or the sound to provide white noise so that you aren’t distracted by silence. These nature sounds (often used for meditation) can be very calming and non-intrusive.

Try searching for ‘Study Music’, ‘Meditation Music’, ‘Meditation Sounds’, etc. on Apple Music or YouTube. If you’d prefer music scores, try Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and Alexandre Desplat. These are the most famous movie score composers but there are plenty more. Find a few that you like and enjoy!

You’re well on your way to understanding your own unique learning style. Keep experimenting until you find what works for you and there’s no doubt that you’ll ace your exams!

What’s your learning style?

Some people love pineapple on their pizza, while others can’t stand the thought. Some people like hip-hop, while others prefer pop music. Boxers or briefs; bikinis or a one-piece; Marvel or DC Comics… why is it that we accept people’s differences in almost every aspect of life, and yet think that every high school kid learns and studies the same way?

We’re all wired differently, so it’s no surprise that we have different learning styles. Here’s a secret: if you can figure out your unique learning style, you’ll be able to learn better, study smarter and do better in your exams.

Your teachers might not have the time to adapt how they teach to suit every single person in the class but, if you know your own learning style, you can empower yourself to revise the content in a way that makes sense to you.

More efficient revision = Better grasp of the content = Easier studying sessions = Better exam results!

Take a look at the three main learning styles below, and try to figure out which describes you best. If you’re not sure which you are, try to work it out by deciding which study technique you prefer. If you still can’t work it out, there’s a handy quiz in every Ace it! study guide.

The auditory learning style

If you are an auditory learner, you probably learn best when you hear what you are trying to learn. You’re the kind of person who actually listens in class, and remembers what the teacher has said. You’re also the kind of person who talks to yourself (we’re not judging) and reads things out loud when you’re trying to understand them.

Recommended study technique: Reciting study materials.

The visual learning style

If you prefer using a map to following written instructions or if you have a pencil case full of highlighters, you’re probably a visual learner. In order to understand something, you need to see it or observe it. You prefer using colourful charts, pictures or diagrams to study. You also prefer to use visual aids when you’re giving a presentation.

Recommended study technique: Mind mapping and highlighting key facts.

The kinaesthetic learning style

Let’s break down the word ‘kinaesthetic’:  kinetic, as in movement and aesthetic, as in the senses. You need physical experiences to help you make sense of new information. You’re probably fidgety in class and wish that teachers would let you do, rather than just telling you. If you’re really interested in a subject, you can learn more about it in two hours of doing, fiddling, interacting, researching and exploring than a teacher can tell you in a week of classes.

Recommended study technique: Role-playing or model building.

Remember that you can be a combination of two or three of these learning styles and that it might change depending on the subject. So, you might prefer a visual study technique for most subjects but kinaesthetic study techniques for Technology or Physical Sciences. You just have to try to understand yourself better so that you can do better.

Once you know your learning style, you’ll be ready to ace your exams!