0 In University & Grad School

Perfect Dissertation Playlist

I always love to share my thoughts or advices about grad school, books and blogs, and I know they are always popular. So today I thought that I would share my perfect dissertation playlist.

I have to confess something – I love singing. I hum, I belt out, I misquote lyrics. I just don’t do it in public because I’m actually terrified of that (ask anyone in my acting class how I reacted when we were spontaneously forced to sing in front of the group..but I digress). When I listen to music, that is what always ends up happening. I sing, I do weird dance moves, I love life, you know?

But lets be honest, that doesn’t make for very productive writing! When I was in the midst of essay writing, but more importantly dissertation writing, I really needed to find a productive way of emptying my mind with background noise and yet not be too distracted by it that the whole affair turned into a dance party.

Finally, I realised that what works best for me is to make sure the music I listen to doesn’t have lyrics. That completely and utterly empties my mind. It gives me something to focus on but it doesn’t become my main focus, like when I’m singing. Am I rambling, or does it make sense?

Anyhow, it worked so well and after one night of working with music, I ended up downloading a lot from iTunes during my dissertation writing and editing. It doesn’t mean that dance/singing parties didn’t break out in our private study rooms (they were some of my very best memories actually!), but this music made for some serious productive time!

1)  Soundtrack of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II.

So I’m a big Harry Potter fan, yes! BUT, this isn’t so much about Harry Potter than it’s about Alexandre Desplat. The man is a genius and he made the last two or three movies so much more enjoyable and emotional with his amazing music! I fell accidentally on the soundtrack and it quickly became the perfect writing playlist. Not only was it relaxing and beautiful, but it reminded me of HP and so the emotion was totally in it for me. They do say you need to be passionate when you write, right?

2) Back Cello Suite by Yo-Yo Ma.

My dad was a big fan of this guy and tried to make me listen to it years ago and I was kind of bored. But, randomly, during one of my weird writing moods in St Andrews, I found myself listening to this and it is seriously the best! It is so relaxing for the brain! It got me through the only ever all-nighter I have ever pulled and it went so well!

3) Soundtrack of Pride & Prejudice (2005 version).

I loved this movie and the soundtrack was perfect for it, it felt light and beautiful and really seemed to respect the spirit of the story. It is so relaxing and while it wasn’t my first choice, it was up there on my writing playlist!

4) Soundtrack of the Lord of the Rings Series.

Another not so surprising choice! Soundtracks just get to me! The Lord of the Rings was just such an emotional journey and the music reminded me of that. The great thing about this playlist (which last for hours seriously!) is that it feels very epic so you can’t help but feel badass as you write! If you’ve seen and enjoyed the films you’ll probably enjoy this playlist because once again, as you listen to it, it brings the emotions of the journey along with it!

The other great thing about these four playlists? It is all so long, it will definitely get you through the hundreds or thousands of hours it will take to work on, write, and edit big pieces of work like a thesis or dissertation! Enjoy!

What’s your trick for writing or working with something in the background?xx

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