The Difference Music Makes

Schools have a very strict policy when it comes to electronic devices and how we use them in the classroom, but perhaps the administration is missing something.

Electronic devices are looked down upon for a variety of reasons as they “disrupt the educational environment.” The quote comes from the Washoe County School District’s Administrative Regulation 5810 that deals with the use of electronic devices by students.

This Administrative Regulation also deals with earbuds. Earbuds are a very tricky case, as teachers cannot know if students are listening to what they say they are listening to, but listening to music does have an impact on student learning whether it be a positive or negative one.

Listening to music during class is against regulation, but has it been considered that the administration is only looking at the “negative parts” of having sounds flow through the ears of students as they work?

Students have their own opinions on such topics.

Often, students say music helps with their schoolwork. One student says, “In the classes that I can’t listen to music, I feel more stressed and overwhelmed.”

Meanwhile, some students have differing opinions, “I like listening to music during class, but I’m not going to lie, I get distracted [because] I can’t multitask,” said one student. By “multitasking,” the student meant that they often get more into the music that they are listening to and focus less on their work.

Within this case, there are many possibilities and different situations and so it is difficult to tamper with rules that have been set.

Music that people are used to and classical music are the types of music that are better for focusing as the noise that comes is expected. Meanwhile if you listen to new music or the wrong type of classical music, such as those without delicate sounds, the sounds are unexpected and can cause a loss in focus. Several studies have proven this. One study put forth a selected group of students, and those who listened to popular music had a lower productivity rate as it interferes with reading comprehension and writing.

Productivity also depends on what you are working on. If you are doing repetitive work, soft tunes have been shown to increase productivity by Teresa Lesiuk’s studies. Her research has shown that students who listened to music of the such completed their tasks quicker than those who did not.

This soft type of music can also help during homework and studying as it causes for fewer interruptions and brings upon more focus, but sometimes listening to your favorite songs and singing along as you study may do more harm than good as you become distracted.

Often, students will recall what they studied when they are in similar environments as those where they studied in. So, if a student studies while listening to music, it will be quite difficult to recall the information in the silent environment of a testing room.

Any type of music can have a negative impact when students are doing tasks such as reading and writing; listening to music may deduct productivity and the student does not take in all the information.

There are many things for students to look for when they are choosing their playlist for schoolwork to ensure that they are not doing more harm than good with the tunes they choose. The students have the ability to choose what is best for them on their own, and the administration may need to realize that and give a second look to this policy