The Power of Music: Three Simple Ways to Improve Your Daily Life at Bucknell

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Have you ever sat through a typical romantic drama and marveled at how much more magic the soundtrack contributes to painfully average life scenarios like break-ups, arguments, or even the average dinner date? This is just one small example of the power music has when it comes to our daily lives. On a more personal level, music can be the perfect way to make even the most mundane college activities (like doing laundry, running at the gym, or even studying) remotely enjoyable by bringing out the best aspects these largely unappealing activities have to offer! Anyone who has ever been to the KLARC Fitness Center is completely aware of the prevalence of iPods and MP3 players—and this is clearly for good reason. Listening to up-tempo music with a hard, driving bass line is a great way to sync the rhythm of your running or lifting with a pace that makes you push yourself. In terms of tempo, experts suggest anything greater than 120 beats per minute (BPM) in order to ensure consistent motivation. Typical genres that tend to feature a very punchy and rhythmic bass line include heavy electronic music (dubstep included, if you’re a fan,) hardcore alternative rock (think Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, or Chevelle,) or even the more recently popular bass-driven rap that artists like Lil’ Wayne have capitalized on during the past decade. Incorporate these, or any similar style of music, into your workout routine, and chances are, you’ll instantly detect differences in immediate performance.

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Not all of us have enough time to hit the gym regularly, however. Those of us in this category might be thinking, “well, how can music help my life, Campus Vinyl BucknellU?” Don’t worry. Numerous experiments and studies have been conducted on the effects different genres of music have on a student’s studying performance. The most crucial piece of advice to be offered here is this: avoid music with words. Listening to music with lyrics that are easily comprehended has only been proven to serve as a distraction to your cognitive attention and focus. That being said, we suggest anything classical, jazzy, or even electronic for those late nights in Bertrand. If those genres don’t fit your taste, you could always choose the heavy metal approach because listening to music with screaming vocals you simply can’t understand is almost just as effective as listening to music with no vocals at all. It is safe to say that we have all fallen prey to the mistake of listening to our favorite jam while reading a painfully boring textbook chapter and then having no recollection of any of the material immediately afterwards. To ensure pure efficiency while doing schoolwork, aim for music that is lacking vocals!

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On the topic of efficiency, one aspect of our lives we commonly overlook is sleep. Before we go any further, it must be made clear that yes, indeed, there are efficient and non-efficient ways to sleep! With the early mornings and late nights that are quintessential of a Bucknell student’s schedule, it is of utmost importance that we make the most of the time we have available for sleep. Not surprisingly, one way we can do this is to utilize the right style of music. If you’re looking to relax from all your daily stresses, or even render yourself unconscious from them, you’re going to want music with a slow, soothing tempo (say, under 80 BPM, to give a number.) Along with this, look for songs that feature string instruments, such as violins or acoustic guitars, accompanied by lots of deep-end (that mellow, low pitched, bass-y rumble.) Throw together a nice playlist with lots of ambient-sounding patterns and a smooth, predictable flow, and even the most restless sleeper will be knocked right out.

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So there you have it, Bucknellians. No matter what sort of unappealing, boring, or downright painful experience you are going through, it can be alleviated through the sheer power of music. Next time you hit the stacks, whether that be the library or the gym, you’ll know exactly what sort of songs to throw on to maximize your efficiency and achieve the most out of your precious time!