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Music students Nuria Shin and Casey Mentch asked Tar Heels which songs they listen to when it’s time to hit the books. 

Nuria Shin and Casey Mentch stand next to one another on the steps of Hill Hall, the music department's main building.
Nuria Shin and Casey Mentch asked Tar Heels what they’re listening to while studying for finals. (Photo by Jess Abel)


It is finals season at Carolina, and the College of Arts and Sciences’ music department asked UNC students which songs they listen to while studying for fall exams.  

Senior Nuria Shin, a music major (voice concentration) and media and journalism minor, and junior Casey Mentch, a media and journalism major with a double minor in entrepreneurship and music, curated the answers into two playlists on the music department’s new Spotify account 

Whether you’ve got focused studying ahead or are in need of a mood boost before sitting for an exam, here’s what Tar Heels recommend. 

Focus study playlist

For long days in the library (or at another favorite study spot) Carolina students shared songs, including:

  • “Yellow” by Coldplay
  • “Dawn” (from the Pride and Prejudice film soundtrack) by Dario Marianelli and Jean-Yves Thibaudet
  • “A Supreme Love, Pt. I – Acknowledgement” by John Coltrane
  • Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata (First Movement)
  • “Modal Soul (feat. Uyama Hiroto)” by Nujabes and Uyama Hiroto 

Mood-boost playlist

For the moments before a final, Tar Heels listen to mood-boosting songs, including: 

  • “I Feel Good About This” by The Mowgli’s
  • “HEATED” by Beyoncé
  • “Check Yes Juliet” by We the Kings
  • “Flat Tire” by Albert King
  • “Hypotheticals” by Lake Street Dive 
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