for those who need background noise but either cannot get seats in their school’s study area or face the prospect of being chased out of Mcdonalds during rush hours, here are some alternative suggestions

In general terms, students are divided into two camps when it comes to their aural habits when studying – some need to have background noise, while there are others who cannot write a single word as long as there is a hint of disturbance in the air. The former group actively patronize places like Mcdonalds, Starbucks, or even Changi Airport to kickstart their work day; the latter group’s common haunts might just be the public library.

But, of course, there are those who fall between - those who are usually fine with silence, but sometimes listen to music or require noise depending on their moods.

Does music really bring anything to the table?

Well, interestingly, studies from the University of Birmingham, England, have suggested the music helps to increase productivity, especially when performing repetitive tasks.

So, for those who need background noise but either cannot get seats in their school’s study area or face the prospect of being chased out of Mcdonalds during rush hours, here are some alternative suggestions. These will allow you to sit in the comfort of your own bedroom, without having to endure the crowds outside just to get a day’s worth of productivity. Talk about time and money saving!

#1: Coffitivity

This ( is one of the author’s favourite websites that recreates sounds in cafes. The sounds are surprisingly authentic - with a volume adjusted to your personal preference, you would almost feel like you are working right in a café, even though you may be sitting in the comfort of your own bedroom.

Ambient background noises can do a lot in eliminating distracting thoughts in your head and increase your focus. And the best part is, you don’t have to spend a cent to feel like you are working in a café. General tracks are free, save for certain ones that you have to pay for at a premium price. This is good news to all the broke students out there!  

#2: Music without lyrics

We all know that it is hard to stop yourself from humming or singing-along to your favourite songs when you know them by heart. In fact, according to Cambridge Sound Management’s 2008 study, speech distracts about 48% of office workers. So, it might not be the wisest choice to choose music with lyrics.

What are the alternatives? Classical music might work. Consider playing classical music playlists on YouTube, or try downloading Spotify and loading one of their classical music studying playlists, which you can listen to for hours on end.

For those who would like a more modern spin on classical music, Vitamin String Quartet or The Piano Guys are some possible choices that can be explored.

Apart from that, songs that include sounds of nature can add tranquility and peace into your hectic study life too.

#3: Foreign music

Fear listening to an English song in case you are gripped by every word?

You may be one of those open to exploring more unorthodox options, such as listening to songs in foreign languages. This may be the perfect solution, since it’s hard to tune into and be distracted by lyrics that you don’t understand a word of.

Try a French or German song mix on Youtube, and you may find yourself developing a liking for foreign music that you never knew existed before! This singer’s songs can be a good place to start.


At the end of the day, everyone’s aural habits are different and diverse. Be open and allow yourself to try out different possibilities, because what you think you need may not be what works for you the best. Even on the same day, your mood may be different, so always troubleshoot and vary according to the circumstances. This is the best chance to make use of the internet, which can help you to maximize your options at the end of the day without having to go out.  

Happy trying!