I know I’m not the only person who feels this way, but I like hearing different noises in the background when I’m studying. The sound of a neighbor’s lawnmower. Rain pattering on the window, or thunderstorm in the distance. Those sounds are incredibly soothing, but they don’t last very long. Online, there are streams that replicate these sounds, but they feel a bit fake to me. The sound of a lawnmower isn’t the same unless it’s accompanied by the smell of cut grass. Likewise, the sound of rain or thunder just isn’t the same without the smell of rain.
This may seem weird, but another background noise I like is the sound of a train. There are several streams online that capture rail journeys, but these suffer from a similar problem. The sound of a train doesn’t have same quality unless it also comes with the sensation of movement. Since that can’t be replicated when I’m studying in my office, it’s not as satisfactory as the real thing.
On the other hand, I don’t associate music with these other sensations. Normally, I just listen to music while doing other things, but when I often get distracted by it because maybe the music that comes up in shuffle isn’t what I want to listen to. When I’m studying, I like to listen to music that’s sort of relaxing. No punk, no metal, no disco. No heavy classical like Toccata and Fugue or Carmina Burana. Normally, I like all of those types of music, just not when I’m studying. The music I normally like to listen to when studying is sometimes know as lo-fi, trip-hop, chillout, ambient, and probably a few other terms as well.
Last fall, I searched on YouTube for “music for studying” and got lots of hits. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with similar thoughts. It turns out there’s all kinds of music for studying. After awhile, I began bookmarking the streams to listen to in the future. I was planning to do a bit to automatically toot a stream on Mastodon every few hours, but haven’t had the time to look into that yet. For now, I’ll just put the streams over here.