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Jesus Garcia

Music in class: 
A disruption 
or a benefit?

Sometimes during class, one of the students will ask if they can listen to music while doing the work they are assigned. Guess what the teacher’s response is? A big NO!

Come on. I mean really? Sure they’ll say no about letting us listen to music, but it helps us relax and concentrate on our work.

I’ve looked up many articles up about many other places/students who listen to music while doing their work because it helps them focus in there assignments. Music helps me finish my homework — even my big reports that are due for class. The same thing goes for my columns that I write for the paper. I read on a website which said 90 percent of students and employees find listening to music helps them focus and be productive. I even asked two teachers and two students their opinion of music in class. Here’s what I was told:

The first teacher said, “Students shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music while doing their school work. First off, it creates a question of fairness. Why should some students be allowed to listen to music while others can’t? Not all students have headphones, or iPods that allows them to listen to music while they work. Secondly, it is a school rule that you are not allowed to have music devices; it’s a direct violation of school policy. There’s no real proof that music helps students. If any, music would mostly slow students down while doing school work.

“Students remain quieter when working with headphones, however, this does not mean this works well. Many students argue that using headphones and listening to music provides them with an incentive to work. By definition an incentive motivates people to work by providing them special awards.

“Lastly, if music really helps students concentrate while working, how come they are not willing to listen to music over speakers as a whole class. Overall, headphones provide more of a distraction in a classroom environment. It takes a while to get it out and ready to use, causes arguments, provides a reason for students to be off task, can’t be monitored for content, and distracts the classroom environment. The real issue is more about following rules then being able to use headphones. It’s a social rule idea that needs to be learned. Plus, it’s not like any students really knows anything about good music.”

That was long. Here’s what our second teacher had to say:

“Sometimes, It depends on the assignment. It also depends on the student. Sometimes music relaxes and helps students focus while they are writing a first draft or brainstorming. However, when critically analyzing, it can also be distracting if they have an iPod touch. They can waste time searching through songs or waiting for something to buffer on YouTube.”

Not surprising, the two students I interviewed — one senior and one freshman — had opposing views to listening to music in class.

“They should be allowed because they’re in high school and should be responsible. They should be able to decide whether music distracts or helps them while working on class assignments. Everyone is different and works differently in a certain environment. So they should be allowed as long as the music is not loud and they are respecting others’ working environment.”

The second student said, “Yes, it helps (me to be) put in a good mood, and also when students listen to music, they don’t cause disruptions, and there are less distractions. I work quietly and it helps me concentrate.”

Well there you have it. Tell me what you think of music in class. Do you want music during class time? I bet you do.

Jesus O. Garcia, 15, is a sophomore at DePue High School. He can be reached in care of this newspaper at P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

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