Rosie Harvey Blogs an eclectic list of music to revise to.

The Best Music for Revision

Like most people, I understand from experience the pain of not being allowed to listen to music while working or revising at school. Who doesn’t love humming along to a good bit of Beyoncé whilst doing a descriptive writing passage, or even the best of Queen while working out algebraic equations? However, we can’t deny that we get a little distracted at times, probably not focusing properly on our work. We have to understand that the teachers do actually want us to succeed in their subject, not just waste their few precious hours with us listening to music.

On the other hand, there is nothing to stop us from listening to music at home. It has been recommended that we don’t listen to music while we study or revise, and those with the best self-discipline will comply with this. But for most of us mortals, we do enjoy something to keep us entertained when we are doing our work. With exams looming, some people are becoming more and more strict with themselves, cutting this source of relaxation off, but finding work more and more of a chore.

So what is the solution? For myself, I find that listening to foreign music quenches my thirst for musical input (unfortunately this does NOT include American music). Certainly with the more complex languages such as Korean or Indonesian, there is no way I can possibly sing along with the words, as the words are so hard to grasp that my brain gives up trying just a few bars into the song. Not only does this mean that I can focus on our work, but I can really appreciate the work of the artist as well.

On top of this, whilst listening to languages more within our reach (such as French, Spanish, German and Russian), we can build up a wider vocabulary and improve our accents. This can indeed be very helpful for students taking foreign languages at GCSE or A Level. If suddenly find yourself enraptured by a foreign artist, there is nothing to stop you looking up the translation and picking up phrases that could potentially contribute to your oral or writing pieces. As you keep listening, your accent will improve hugely, as you become used to how people of that nationality speak and pronounce their words. The same goes for listening exams – you become accustomed to tuning your ears into the language and can pick out words which normally would be very hard to distinguish from the rest of the sentence.

This may not be a study done by top universities, or ground-breaking research posted in science magazines, but if this works for a student like me, then I’m sure it can work for everyone.

Here’s a small list of foreign pop artists:


French: Indila (see top pic) Coeur de Pirate

Spanish: Manuel Carrasco (see bottom pic)

Russian: Serebro

Japanese: 7!! (7 oops)

Korean: BTS, TVXQ