Music: Distraction or Study Aid?

It comes as no surprise that the course load and curriculum at Tech are challenging. Students use a variety of techniques to help them focus and study. Some students watch at least one episode of their favorite show a night, others play video games before starting their homework, and many only study or do homework in complete silence, but some students turn to music to help them focus.

If students listen to music to help them focus at home, then they should be allowed to do the same in school.

Listening to music on iPods or MP3 players during private class work would benefit many students and would not interfere with teaching. Students can be asked to put away or turn off their devices when the teacher begins teaching.

Hannah Wang ’16 says, “iPods would help concentration. Work can be difficult, and music helps me focus.”

However, it is clear that this strategy cannot work for everyone. Anton Buynovskiy ’16 says, “iPods would not help me work at all. Certain people can’t multitask. Either focus on music or on work.”

Craig Gordon, an English teacher, points out a potential problem. “There could be certain types of assignments where students could use music to help them get through their work. Other teachers may have other opinions on this topic. All teachers should feel the same way about this before we start to enforce rules to our students.”

There are students who already use music to help them concentrate in class without the teacher’s permission to do so. Some students get away with this, or sometimes the teacher pretends not to see. Either way, students do not usually disrupt the rest of the class with their music.

If music improves productivity, then students should be given the opportunity to use their iPods or MP3 players during appropriate classwork.

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