Sing your way through the remainder of the school year

Aelsa Butler, IV Leader Culture Editor

Spring break is over, and there are just under six weeks of school left. These next weeks will fly by; soon we’ll be at finals and then graduation, and suddenly, our school year is gone. While the weeks may go by quickly, they will be long and probably difficult. Impending finals will drive us to all-nighters, chaotic early mornings, and frantic studying between classes.

To keep us sane, we listen to music.

For your countless hours of homework time this spring, consider listening to some classical music. Studies show that listening to classical music improves focus and memory retention, and with several pieces composed for this time of the year, there are plenty of relevant choices. The Spring Concerto from the Four Seasons Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi is perhaps the most obvious one. About forty seconds in to it, a bird-like chorus comes in that is perfect to accompany some time with your textbook and an open window. Ottorini Respighi’s Primavera begins with a similar idea, but is even more vibrant in its presentation of the beauty and struggles of this time of year. For something completely different, try the Butterfly Etude by Frederic Chopin; this driving piano solo could push you to conquer your paper with energy and confidence.

However, the college life is not all studying, as much as it may feel that way. Sometimes, a student just needs a little bit of mellow happy-juice to get them through some of the in between times. The folk-inspired tones in ‘60s and ‘70s music inspire this kind of contented tranquility. John Denver’s Sunshine on My Shoulders brings a little bit of springtime analogy to the fact of life that some of the best things can also be the hard things. Oh, you know, like college. Cross the 59th Street Bridge with Simon and Garfunkel. This song reminds us to take some time to enjoy the weather and take a walk. Walking actually helps improve focus and concentration—something we all need by the time the end of the semester rolls around—so plug in your earphones and enjoy some Simon and Garfunkel while getting some exercise. If you need a little encouragement to see the positive things in life, turn on a little Karen Carpenter and share her relish in being on Top of the World. We all need a moment to look down on creation and enter a happy place.

Modern pop music also has its place in the collegiate life. Need a little motivation to pull yourself into class after being gone for a week? You are in The Middle of Starting Over, so get a Disney pop fix and listen to Sabrina Carpenter sing about what it’s like to recover from a rough patch. No matter what your semester was like before spring break, you can come back renewed and get through the work left to do. In addition, you can put on some encouragement from Andy Grammer’s Keep Your Head Up. Even when things get rough, just keep your spirits high and try even harder. Dance into school with Michael Buble and It’s a Beautiful Day. Let the driving beat get you into a good mood.

Whatever you need it for, there is springtime encouragement waiting in musical form. You are probably familiar with some of this music, but if there’s anything you are unfamiliar with, give it a listen. For your studying, for your quiet moments, and for your motivation, tune into Pandora, YouTube, iHeartRadio, or Spotify and you will find music to keep you going. Welcome back to IVCC. You’re almost done with the year. You can do this.