The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Lizze Small Contributing Illustrator
How to help our Earth
April 12, 2024

    Why instrumental music is a study need

    Eva ‘25 listens to music while working on her Extended Essay.

    Hello my dear readers and welcome to semester two! A second semester can feel like many things: a treacherous battle, a rewarding journey and, most of all, an academically challenging feat. Assignments become more daunting (Extended Essay, anyone?), the increased amount of school weeks feel like centuries, but overall, students are forced to devote more and more time to studying. In today’s column, I have decided to take it upon myself to supply all of you with my greatest study recommendation and overall hack: background instrumental music. 

    Instrumental music can get a bad rap as boring, pretentious and unnecessary; I mean, who would want to listen to a song with no lyrics? Me, that’s who. Throughout my nearly five (wow) years as a student here, I have tried to avoid falling into the trap of being a person who studies to instrumental music. Chill lo-fi hip-hop beats to relax/study? No thanks, no, nada, not for me. However, once I came to the realization that the world of instrumental music is vast, boundless and, let’s face it, inescapable, there was no turning back. Instrumental music surrounds us everywhere, especially in the scores of the movies and TV shows that we watch. This leads me to my first recommendation: movie scores!

    Listening to the score of my favorite movie while I cram history flashcards definitely helps to boost my motivation, improve focus and lift my overall mood. I first discovered this theory at the ripe age of 14 when I watched my now favorite movie “Kajillionaire” with my family. I cried on the floor for two hours afterwards and refused to listen to anything but Emile Mosseri’s expertly crafted score for the following two weeks. To this day, I often switch up my movie score selection based on the mood of my assignment – Jon Brion (“Lady Bird,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) for dense readings or Joe Hisaishi from Studio Ghibli for more lighthearted work, etc. Works like a charm every time!

    Aside from score composers, I find that some of my favorite artists are also talented instrumentalists. Real ones will remember my spring 2023 column on the fabulous Adrianne Lenker; her 2020 album “instrumentals” contains some of the most breathtaking guitar that has ever blessed my ears. Another artist with beautiful guitar instrumentals is Florist; I especially love “Duet for Guitar and Rain” and “Instrumental 3.” 

    That’s all from me today! If I have converted anyone into an instrumental fan throughout the last 500 words, I will consider myself accomplished. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll catch you in the next one!

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