Happy Wednesday! We've made it to the second week of March, and I know that most of us are still at our homes, doing our best during quarantine—or at least trying to.
Focusing. It's a hard skill to master. Focusing on my work and priorities has never been something I can easily do, and it took years of a certain mindset and routine that enabled me to check off those things in my planner. One thing I've been attached to during these quarantine work days is music. Music brings life to my dull head and waters the flower in my brain so that it blooms, turning on the gears of my imagination so I can work. There are plenty of soundtracks (too many to choose from, really) that I have come across that either distract me, put me to sleep, or hits that perfect switch that pushes me to do my best every time I hit play. For me, I can't concentrate when a wordy rap song is blasting in my headphones, or when an ASMR playlist is crackling in my ears. For me, it's calm, steady piano music that starts my day on a positive note and brings me into a trance of concentration.
I have gathered some of my recommendations for study music that calms my stressed mind and puts me into an uplifting mood that benefits those study days.
5.) Chilledcow's Lofi Hip Hop Radio
I'm sure most of us have seen the iconic Lofi Girl who's been sitting at her desk for ages taking notes as we study along with her. I first discovered this station in my early years of middle school on Youtube, and immediately fell in love. I'm not a hip-hop girl myself, but this station is the perfect mix of soft, morning beats when opening a window and the reading music you listen to when you're sitting on your couch on a rainy day. Wherever I am, this mix provides that home feeling when you're away from past times, and in my opinion, is one of the hardest soundtracks to get over.
4.) Studio Ghibli Piano Soundtracks
From Totoro to Calcifer, to Princess Mononoke and Arrietty—the world of music that Joe Hisaishi created from his magical musical talent is all you need to be swept underwater with Ponyo or flying above Howl's Moving Castle. As a little girl, I played a lot of fantasy games where my friends and I would fly around royal high schools and fall asleep in our (digital) beds while listening to the calming music of Studio Ghibli before we were told to put our devices away. For years, I couldn't put my finger on where the music came from until I explored the soundtracks online and listened to "Teru's Song" in a piano playlist while studying. From then on, my fingers only played Studio Ghibli songs, and my head only sang Studio Ghibli songs. It was everything that I needed to feel relaxed, refreshed, and renewed.
3.) Acoustic Guitar Soundtracks
There was one video that I always had on wherever I went, and that was a repeating compilation of a guitar sequence by a creator Monoman. I wished that I could wield that power to strum my fingers on such an instrument that made such beautiful sound, but the best I could do was listen. Listen and read, take a walk, do my homework, draw, or write. That same tune was always ringing in my ears, accompanying me throughout my day. That, my friends, is the power of how simple a guitar could be, and how much life it could bring with just a few combinations of notes when you feel like stepping into a brand new day of sunshine.
2.) Animal Crossing Piano Mixes
Animal Crossing Wild World, New Leaf, and New Horizons undoubtedly dominate the relaxing vibe, and the music adapted from these games say no less. I find myself restless during class due to my obsession with Animal Crossing, wishing every second of the day I could be on my island with my villagers. Music that is played from the game immediately brightens my mood, and drops me into my island home while I work, pulls me away to Able Sisters, and sets me on the beaches at 2 AM with my fishing rod at hand—when really, it's just my pencil scribbling algebra equations in my notebook. That's the magic of Animal Crossing—and I doubt it'll ever change.
2.) The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Soundtrack
Yet another video game playlist that I cannot study without. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was one of my very first games, and still, I forbid it to become a nostalgic feeling for me whenever I listen to Mipha's Theme or the bubbly tune from Hateno Village. This game has a mind of its own—and that's because it's controlled by the player. You can live, breathe, and fight as a traveler who carries the burden of the past on his shoulders while venturing to the various towns in Hyrule separated by dense forests of green, enemies who mean no business, and Divine Beasts who hover over the vast lands. Imagining that you are Link, running from the Bokoblins on horseback in the open fields, can ignite a fire of determination whenever you need hope through your studies—and that, readers, is why it is my top pick for my study music recommendations.
Thank you so much for reading! A quick update from me is letting you all know that I won't be publishing any films for a bit, as my life has gradually slowed down after a few months' worth of overwork. I will continue to write to you, and be sure to keep an eye out for the March Edition of The Literary Magazine edited by my two hardworking good friends and designed by yours truly!
Chilledcow's Lofi Hip Hop Radio
My Favorite Studio Ghibli Soundtracks
Acoustic Guitar Soundtrack by Monoman
My Favorite Animal Crossing Soundtracks
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Soundtracks