More than two decades after Don Campbell published The Mozart Effect, debate continues over whether listening to classical music can raise your IQ. Most studies into whether quiet music for kids – or, really, music of any genre – improves mental function or memory have proven inconclusive.
Still, many students enjoy a soundtrack while they study. Whether it helps them to relax and focus or motivates them to sit down and get their homework done, what’s the harm?
With school in session (which we recommend kicking off with our back-to-school music playlist), it’s time to set the stage for studying. Why not think beyond shopping for school supplies and scout out some laidback jams, too?
With the abundance of music on streaming services, there’s plenty of quiet music for kids to study to. And once you’ve found your favorites, you can access them virtually anywhere, cultivating that back-to-school mindset anytime.
Whether you stream on TV while the kids hit their books in the family room or your teen takes his earbuds to get a head start on homework on the bus, here are some tunes to try.
Electronic for Studying Radio on Pandora
Soothing songs with electronica roots, rhythmic intros and steady beats. You probably haven’t heard of some of the artists (Tycho, Lindsey Stirling, The xx and Alan Walker), but this hip playlist is destined to become a favorite of parents and kids alike.
Relaxing Classical on Spotify
Designed by Brighton-based piano teacher Marilyn Floyd here in Michigan, this 18-song playlist is a perfect way to expose kids to classical they will come to love. “This is a great playlist for studying or bedtime,” Floyd says.
Studying With Classical on iHeartRadio
Keep distractions at bay and stimulate the senses with a playlist of symphonic favorites featuring Vivaldi, Mozart and Bach.
Relaxing Music for Kids on SoundCloud
Fill your home with “inspiration, love and peace” with this album of quiet music for kids. Five esoteric tracks of soothing ambient sounds with a spattering of raindrops and bird calls will calm older kids and put littler ones to sleep, freeing you up to help with Everyday Math.
Best Epic Instrumentals on Spotify
This 381-song playlist features instrumentals from familiar movies and video games. Tune into selections from Ninjago, Chronicles of Narnia, Jurassic Park and many more.
Quiet Study on Spotify
It’s often a challenge finding quiet music for kids in the pop genre that’s clean and appropriate. Here’s a playlist of the gentle singer-songwriter bent, the likes of Ben Howard, Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran.
Smooth Jazz Vocals on Spotify
A quiet storm of vocal-rich picks by such artists as Sade, Vanessa Williams and Anita Baker. Take it old school to help your kids focus on new school homework and projects.
Chillhop Chill Study Beats Vol. 1: Instrumental Hip-Hop & Jazz on YouTube
More than 70 minutes of chillhop study beats to help kids focus and concentrate. This playlist will keep kids grounded as responsibilities ramp up during the school year.
Study Music Project on YouTube
Artist Dennis Kuo has produced several playlists under the Study Music Project moniker, which blend unique calm sounds with piano and relaxed beats to create “the ultimate instrumental background music for your life.”
Deep House Relaxing Study 24/7 Live Radio on YouTube
This live radio station provides a constant stream of deep house, encouraging kids to ease into a comfortable groove. It sets the stage for reading, writing or math any time of day.
Calm Piano Music 24/7 on YouTube
Recordings by piano master “relaxdaily,” who aims to inspire listeners to think, meditate, daydream, reflect or simply enjoy. Perfect for deep mental or creative work, with new tunes added regularly.
The Piano Guys Radio on Pandora
One of the most-visited stations on the Pandora planet, this channel is anchored by the Piano Guys but veers off into similar artists with a contemporary take on keyboard music. A selection of quiet music for kids that will calm your entire evening, no matter how much homework the kids – or you – have.
Bossa Nova Radio on Pandora
Brazilian music from the ’50s and ’60s, bossa nova is a classy, lyrical fusion of samba and jazz. Turning this on for background tunes will set the vibe for studying – while transporting students to a warmer, more easygoing place.
This background station is characterized by vocal harmonies and a capella groups covering a wide range of styles. Thumb songs up or down to tailor the station over time to the ideal study soundscape.