Top 10 Student Study Playlists

by Victoria Nunez

You walk up the hill with your cup of coffee and settle in your perfect study spot. You are about to open the Western Heritage Reader, but before you begin, you search for the perfect study music to settle your mind and help you focus. You search, and search, and search some more. But you just can’t find the music you’re looking for.

Never fear, the students of Hillsdale will not let you down. Featuring the top 10 student-run playlists that our students use for their study sessions.

1. Study Strings by Madeleine Brylski

“I put this instrumental playlist together freshman year and have used it ever since. It only gets better for studying with as the songs basically become a part of me. Bluegrass, neo-classical, instrumental guitar, cello, violin music, etc. It all started with the Goat Rodeo Sessions.”

2. Cozy, cool, chill bops by Marcus Lotti

“Most of these songs are lyric-less, and all of them have a beat. Played quietly, this playlist fades into background noise really well, if one likes jazz, lo-fi hip hop, and instrumental covers. I’m always adding songs too.”

3. hyper focus revisited by Nick Oxaal

“The fourth and latest installment in the hyper focus series, specially designed to increase productivity and focus. Known to even unlock laser focus. Best when used alongside a timer and five minute breaks. Fifth hyper focus playlist dropping this July.”

4. 21 study soundtrack by Mary Caroline Whims

“This playlist shuffles my favorite tracks from more than thirty different movies. Narnia and Pride and Prejudice meet selections from Gladiator, Rudy, and Forrest Gump. A sprinkling of classical and Ola Gjeilo rounds out the mix.”

5. Not To Be Pedantic, But… by Ryan Michael Burns

“Not sure why but I’ve written several papers to this playlist and it gives me a mysterious ability to focus. Without fail.”

6. 4focus by Eleni Bestolarides

“This is just a collection of my favorite (mostly) instrumentals/classical pieces that never fail to put me in a thoughtful and contemplative mood.”

7. Classical for Deep Work by Isaac Johnson

“Mozart isn’t just for babies. Neurology has proven time and time again how classical music strengthens our memory, focus, and ability to learn. Let this playlist help you find your muse with whatever work needs to get done.”

8. galaxy brain music (high iq listeners only!) by Philip Berntson

“Music which, if played every day on repeat, would ensure there would be no more dumb people in the world. This playlist is intellectual Adderall for the mentally fried – you could be low on sleep and short on ideas but this playlist will propel you to new intellectual and creative heights.”

9. zone in by Victoria Nunez

“These are songs without words. They are emotive enough to cultivate creativity, but they slide in the background perfectly, enabling the work to get done. Well produced and rich with instrumentation, this mixture of sonorous atmospheres is perfect to use when reading or writing.”

10. green notes in a blue room by Gabriel Listro

“This playlist is full of songs which I feel would be playing in the back stage dressing room after a contemporary jazz concert. It’s a mix of some of my favorite jazz, Neo-soul, and quirky electronic songs. it’s smooth and stimulating without putting you to sleep, perfect for studying.”


Victoria-NuñezVictoria Nuñez, ’22, has a deep love for connecting people to people and is always up for an adventure. She writes because she has to, but she enjoys it more than she lets on. In her free time, you can catch her laughing, dancing, or people watching.


Published in July 2019