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The best music for studying: 10 amazing playlists

by Craig Boyle

When you’re studying online, you can sometimes feel isolated. With Open Colleges, we provide opportunities for our students to chat in the Open Space community with each other – but sometimes chatting to others isn’t what you’re after. Sometimes, the best company you can hope for when studying is music. According to scientists, the best music for studying can even help you concentrate…

The best music for studying is the music you enjoy. Regardless of our recommendations, your enjoyment of music ultimately comes down to taste. However, science does say that music can aid our memory recall and help us to pay attention – according to a study by Stanford University in 2007.

Further studies by the Imperial College London found that certain genres affect genders differently, with men more likely to lose concentration when listening to rock music, but more likely to focus when listening to classical. Women in the study were not negatively impacted by the same music.

Ultimately, this proves that music can be subjective. The best music for studying depends on your mood and your taste. Here are our picks for the best music playlists you can stream on YouTube, making them perfect companions to our online study platform. Almost all are instrumental – so there’s no need to be distracted by lyrics.

Ready? Simply scroll down, find a station you like, hit play and start studying!

Classical: The best music for concentration

As far as concentration goes, science dictates that classical music is the best for aiding studying. This playlist is around 5 hours long and features Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and other famous composers. Set it to play and start studying!

Calming Piano Music

The piano is one of the world’s most beautiful instruments – beloved by everyone from classical composers to modern rock stars. It’s capable of incredible range and variation, think ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ compared to Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’. This playlist offers 24/7 streaming of soft, serene piano music that will help you to either relax or study.

Smooth Jazz

Another genre that’s famed for its ability to aid concentration, Jazz might not be something you’ve considered before. This playlist streams 24/7 and contains no interruptions or ad breaks, making it perfect for your studies.

Indie/Folk Music

This playlist covers 10 hours of guitar-led folk and indie music that is calming and at times, beautiful. If you’re settling down for a longer study session, this collection is the perfect choice for any fans of indie or folk style music but find actual singing distracting.

Instrumental Rock

If you’re more into the sound of guitars and drums, you’ll enjoy this soft rock compilation. Easy to listen to and evoking memories of classic rock’s greatest songs, this is the ideal playlist if you love the sound of older rock and roll.

Hip Hop Fans: Low Fi Hip Hop

If you’re a fan of relaxing hip-hop, you’ll enjoy this channel from ChilledCow, which broadcasts beats (minus lyrics) all day long. No downtime means you can load it up whenever you want to study and slip into a relaxing mood.

Electronic Fans: House Music Study Playlist

Like your nights out in the club, or a fan of music that gets you moving? This playlist is the perfect selection of chilled out house music that still retains the tempo and rhythm you’ll want to tap your foot to. If you need to produce any work such as an essay or writing, the higher rhythm of house music can help aid productivity.

Retro Electronic

Big fan of 80s sci-fi? Fancy a more ‘Blade Runner’ style selection of study music? This playlist is a high tempo collection of retro electronica that is perfect for fans of cyberpunk and synth music. It’s the ideal soundtrack for a late night of studying.


A fusion of Jazz and hip-hop style instrumentals, this sort of playlist is almost guaranteed to get your creativity firing. Designed to feel as though you’re sitting at a desk all cosy and ready to study, this 54-minute playlist is perfect for introverts who need to concentrate.

Something Different: Space Ambience

For our final selection, we’ve included this 24/7 radio station of ambient ‘space’ sounds – futuristic electronic music that’s meant to evoke a feeling of wonder. It’s ideal for pondering big questions, and as a result, studying. Unlike the other suggestions above, which we’ve tried to tailor to genre tastes, this playlist is more of a genre on its own. Try it out, it might make your study experience out of this world!

Feeling inspired?

If this music has got you in the mood to study, why not enrol in any of our online courses? Load up one of these playlists and study online with Open Colleges, anywhere, anytime.

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