By June Peers
Currently, it is against school rules for students to listen to music with their personal devices during school hours. Doing so will result in two hours of detention and a confiscated phone. The reason for this rule is understandable. Students need to focus during class time and phones can be distracting.
However, some students need stimulation in order to focus. Sitting in a silent classroom can be even more distracting than music for some.
Many deem music distracting, but fail to understand that even without music, distractions can occur in the classroom. Students can be distracted by the sounds both inside and outside the classroom. Music helps some students to avoid this. Instead of overhearing rambunctious students converse, with music students can concentrate on their work.
According to Dr. Masha Goodkin from Northcentral University, “Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory.”
When given the ability to turn their attention to a more enjoyable form of learning, this can result in an overall quiet and focused classroom.
It is true that in some cases, music can be a distraction. For example, listening to music during instruction would prevent students from learning the lesson. There is also the likelihood that students would scrolling through their phone for non-music-related purposes rather than selecting a song and getting back to work.
There will certainly be students who take advantage of being able to listen to music and will find it keeps them from their learning. However, just as we do now, these behaviors can be corrected with detention or even just teacher redirection.
Additionally, students will learn that music is a privilege that can be taken away when used inappropriately.
If the school were to change its guidelines on listening to music during class time, they could possibly implement a reward-based learning system, which rewards students who succeed in their academics. Teachers could keep a list of students with a grade of C or higher and give them access to music while prohibiting students with a D or lower from having this privilege.
This can serve as motivation for that group of students who don’t have a passing grade to focus more on the course.
The absence of music is not only a concern in the classroom but outside of class as well. Even when walking around campus or enjoying a lunch break, students are punished for listening to music.
No one would argue that music serves as a distraction for eating lunch, so why is this a punishable offense during break time?
After a student has had to focus on academics for hours at a time, music can serve as a relief from the inundation of school work. If listening to a song before class contributes to an increase in students’ concentration in school, then why should there be a policy that restricts them from succeeding in their academics? In fact, as I am writing this article, I’m listening to music.
The act of listening to music is something schools should be more accepting of. It increases academic concentration and could serve as a reward for those who are academically focused. Overall, allowing students to listen to music serves more benefits than detriments.