Listening to Music – in Class?

Phoebe Reiter, Staff Writer

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Teachers are often telling students to take out their ear buds. It’s a distraction, they lament. But is it?

In some cases, such as a foreign language class where listening to your teacher speak the unfamiliar language will help you, or during a test where cheating is possible, music obviously shouldn’t be allowed. Yet, what about during a math, history, or science lesson? Listening to music should only be done with one ear, of course, in order for students to be able to hear. Allowing students to listen to music will keep them engaged, let alone awake.

Wouldn’t listening to music make classes just a bit quieter, as well? Students, including myself, often talk less when listening to music because they usually don’t want to interrupt a song and they don’t feel as compelled to talk.

One could argue that it’s harder to concentrate on the task at hand while listening to music. This is the case for some students, and those students don’t have to listen to music if they find it distracts them. Personally, listening to music doesn’t distract me if I’m doing homework or individual work in class – instead it pulls me into my own world where I don’t have to fully listen to others talking next to me and I can focus my attention on my work. Substantiated by Florida National University, “music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention” which goes to show that music does not make concentrating difficult, instead it does the exact opposite – it enhances one’s focus.

Perhaps it isn’t the music that teachers have a problem with, but the usage of phones. Some students who are purposely not doing their work will most likely claim they’re changing a song. Teachers could propose that after they begin notes or whatever activity that they’ve delegated can have music, students must keep their phones on their desks, face down. They could skip songs using the buttons on the side of ear buds, if need be. Rules aside, music has advantages that teachers should be more aware of.

Music could be played by teachers, yet this is often irritating as most students have varying music tastes, and could find it harder to focus if they don’t appreciate the song. Some prefer Katy Perry, while others (I’m looking at you, Chloe Boxer) adore Depeche Mode.

According to the Florida National University, music has been proven to “reduce anxiety” and this is extremely beneficial to high school students because a significant amount are involved in Honors/AP classes. Many, including myself, face high levels of stress as we have multiple deadlines to meet each week and tests to study for. Permitting students to listen to music can help students cope with their stress, therefore improving their overall mental health.

Teachers can decide when listening to music is appropriate – such as during lecture or individual work. Many, instead of doing this, restrict music all together. Before banning music outright, teachers should consider how students might benefit from listening to music.

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8 Comments

8 Responses to “Listening to Music – in Class?”

  1. Thomas Cass on November 6th, 2017 4:03 pm

    I understood your logic but I disagree because then the kids would love doing lessons just so they can have their music on and not to learn a new subject.

    [Reply]

  2. Shanelle Huynh on November 6th, 2017 5:52 pm

    I completely agree with your stance. Before going to school, I always make sure to have a pair of earbuds in my pocket so I can listen to music while walking around at school or during lunch. Being able to listen in class would definitely help me focus by allowing me to drown out the distracting sounds of any students around me who may not be working or are simply a bit too loud.

    [Reply]

  3. Lucas Pari on November 7th, 2017 12:03 pm

    Lots of good information. Mice to see someone speak the truth.

    [Reply]

  4. Erin Chun on November 7th, 2017 1:12 pm

    I agree with everything that you wrote in this article. Music can drastically aid students in their ability to study and concentrate; I believe it is unfair for education authorities to dictate whether or not they can be allowed when it has proven to be beneficial to listeners.

    [Reply]

  5. Laly Arias on November 7th, 2017 1:31 pm

    Music is a something in life that you hear daily and not being able to hear it in class is pretty unfair because this is a salvation from annoying distractions.

    [Reply]

  6. Christina Suarez on November 7th, 2017 1:42 pm

    Yes! There have been multiple studies to show how beneficial music is while studying and I believe students should have the right to listen to music during class if they’re not being disruptive.

    [Reply]

  7. Adrian Garcia on November 7th, 2017 1:42 pm

    i completely agree with this, i really think that people have this idea ingrained into their minds that music is a distraction during classtime, but regardless good article and good work!

    [Reply]

  8. Scarlet Rodriguez on November 11th, 2017 5:03 pm

    Yes, Yes, Yes!! Music is such a great tool especially in surviving high school. I mean I have ear buds on me 24/7 just so the when I’m walking around campus or about to leave class I’m ready to walk the noisy halls. I really hope this sheds some lights for certain teachers

    [Reply]

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Listening to Music – in Class?