Music to Work By

In my last post, I mentioned putting some music on to have in the background while I was working. I thought I’d talk a little about which music works. Amazingly, this is yet another area where people have their shoulds. They tell you which music helps you to concentrate, and which is distracting, or that you should or should not use music while you’re working. By now you know my perspective is this: Whatever works for you, is what works. Use whatever works for you. And from my experience, what works for people is different depending on who they are, as well as the circumstances they’re in.

Right now I’m listening to some Brazilian music. My favorite Brazilian album to work by, or do much of anything by, is called São Paulo Confessions by Suba.  

For something a little more straight-ahead upbeat, I love this Quebecois band called Le Vent du Nord. I most often listen to their album Les Amants du Saint-Laurent . They even play the hurdy-gurdy.

If the downtempo edge of Sao Paulo Confessions works for you- and coincidentally, it seems to for a lot of my clients, I listen to this internet radio station called "Afternoon Nap," whose stream you can open by going to, and which, despite its name, doesn’t put me to sleep- it only helps to lull the mental noise. 

But these are just some of the things that work for me. Music can put me to sleep, wake me up, depress me, distract me, or create the optimum bonus background stimulation to keep me focused. The right soundtrack depends on who you are and what’s going on. It’s not Mozart for everyone. A friend just mentioned she liked listening to loud music during childbirth. No, setting a tranquil scene doesn’t do it for all of us. I’m keeping that in mind as I assemble possible playlists for my empending effort. When I was in college, I listened to very loud music while I read stuff that was hard to concentrate on. Seriously loud music that I wouldn’t recommend now. If I were going for the seriously hopping music, I’d go with something like They Might Be Giants. Or a few minutes of one of these awesome podcasts called Podrunner to kick-start myself.  As a bonus, DJ Steveboy’s voice is so friendly, it makes me feel good about the human race just to realize he’s put time into helping people to work out- or just work. He mixes each podcast with a specific bpm, and I wonder if Steve ever realized  his beats per minute would help anyone to simply concentrate on their paperwork?