Like it or not, an important part of college is studying. Actually, it’s THE most important part — that’s the whole reason you’re here. But studying can be tedious and, let’s face it, boring. To keep you inspired while you cram for that test or write that annotated bibliography, here’s a playlist of some of my favorite studying songs.
1. “Holding Onto You” – Piano Tribute Players
Obviously I had to include a piano cover of a Twenty One Pilots song. It just wouldn’t be a “Mary Kate playlist” without homage to my favorite band.
2. “Your Hands Are Cold” – Dario Marianelli & Jean-Yves Thibaudet
This song is from the 2005 film adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice.” It’s beautiful and builds with intensity at points, so you won’t fall asleep while reading about Socrates.
3. “One Summer’s Day” – Joe Hisaishi
“Spirited Away” is one of my favorite childhood movies, and the score for the film is absolutely gorgeous. Let this song remind you of summertime and flowers as you burn the midnight oil.
4. “Time” – Hans Zimmer
It’s a scientific fact that listening to music composed by Hans Zimmer motivates you to study. Here’s one of my favorite pieces from the “Inception” soundtrack.
5. “The Chairman’s Waltz” – John Williams & Yo-Yo Ma
“Memoirs of a Geisha” is similar to a Japanese retelling of the Cinderella fairytale. “The Chairman’s Waltz” is the dreamy love theme from the film. It’s short and sweet – unlike your studying session.
6. “The Firebird Suite: VII. Finale” – Igor Stravinsky
Nothing gets me more pumped than Stravinsky. This song is inspiring and motivational – basically a musical equivalent of coffee. (Plus, I played this song in high school wind ensemble and never fully let it go.)
7. “To The Architect” – Mychael Danna & Rob Simonsen
The only thing I love more than the movie “(500) Days of Summer” is the film’s score, so I had to include the major musical piece in this playlist.
8. “Symphony No. 94 in G Major: ‘Surprise’” – Joseph Haydn
Listen to this song when you’re dozing off. Trust me.
9. “Transatlanticism” – Vitamin String Quartet
Ah yes, one of my favorite groups covering my favorite song by another one of my favorite groups. “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie is astounding on its own, but once you add in the ethereal sounds of the Vitamin String Quartet, it becomes near-perfection. The feels.
10. “Cantina Band” – John Williams
Something peppy to lift your spirits. The infamous song that weird alien band plays in “Star Wars.” It’s a classic that I simply had to include. Hopefully it motivates you to read that last paragraph of your textbook.
11. “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
This is to be played en route to your exam. You studied, listened to a boss playlist and now it’s time to slay that test. Rock on, my friend. (Kanye West is also an option.)