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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

A final exam in study music 101

It's finals time again, one of the worst times of the year. We all have our own escapes. Some of us take study breaks. Some of us choose to nip the stress in the bud and we don't study at all. Whether you work out more this time of year or just do less work, it's only logical to find a way to let off some steam. When I'm looking over all the material for the past semester and trying to learn it all again, I listen to music. When I do almost anything, I listen to music. You've got to be careful, though. It's easy to select the wrong music to play. Before you know it you end up at the bottom of the page and have no idea what words are on it.  




The most obvious thing is that the music cannot be new. What music fiend can listen to that new UGK at the same time as trying to teach him or herself business law? That's really not rational, now is it? It's probably also a good idea to be sure the music that's playing isn't your favorite'it'll take 10 minutes just to read a page. That just can't happen. It's bad enough studying without prolonging the misery. That means no Redman or Scarface for me. The worst thing about that is how long it will take to even realize that you're not studying.  




Another important issue is matching the energy level of the music to your own. You can't expect to listen to something hype and have the discipline to stay focused on some boring books'at least I can't. If I have some Mobb Deep on the box or some EFIL4AGGIN in the Walkman, will I really be reading that ever so interesting urban land economics or whatever I've got to master in nine hours? I hope the answer is yes, but we all know that too often it is no. Music that always makes you think about things is also dangerous. Not only will it distract, but it could also destroy the studying mood that had to be built up in the first place. You all know what I mean. Outkast, Nasty Nas, Biggie or even Sade will take the mind to places that it should not be at the time. No Pac, Jay-Z or even Ol' Dirty. The moment you notice yourself picking your head up from a book and smiling because of something that is said in a song, you may want to consider changing the CD. Don't get it twisted, though, I'm not saying that Beethoven is the best choice of music to study to. Some things will just put you to sleep.  




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I have friends that'll listen to that West Coast Cali riding music'that doesn't work for me. Celly Cel, Kaydee, Ray Luv and with the exception of In a Major Way, E-40 will make me pass out, using my book as a pillow. Quik is good to study to, though. Man, he makes great music. I don't need any KRS, because the book is already lecturing me. I just need something that is quality and that I already know so that I'm not trying to hear what's being said for the first time. I need good music, not great new music. Great old school music can work, though. EPMD, Slick Rick and Too Short all make pretty damn good study music. A study session should be just that; it should not be made into a party, or at least that's what someone told me once. The lyrics should either be simple or so complex that they're funny. A Tribe Called Quest, The Eastsidaz (their first album), Das Efx and Keith Murray all fit that description. And I always have the old standby'if I need good music to study to, there's always Jazz. There's always Monk, Miles and Byrd.  




So when you open a book the next time, listen to what you are listening to. Are you better off zoning out for a half hour and getting the songs out of your system before you even try to study? Sometimes you are, and sometimes you have to listen to what that little dude inside tells you. Whatever you do, don't burn yourself out. Good luck on finals.

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