Does Music Help Concentration?
My school’s handbook states, “Students may not use cell phones, portable media players, video equipment, or any other electronic in the classroom.” So is listening to music while doing schoolwork really harmful? According to Elizabeth Landau, a CNN Health writer/producer, professional researchers who have already experimented or tried to find the real answer to if music does harm people’s concentration while studying. The article stated, “That when it comes to memorizing important information it is best for humans to be in silence.” In another article, “Music Can Help You Study,” from the UNCC 49’er website on Apr. 5, 2012, it said, “There are many types of music that have been shown to put your mind in study mode” (
Some artists that were recommended in the article were Baroque, Telemann , and Ambient Trace their genre of music can better people’s concentration while studying. The article said, “This music is perfect for studying, doing homework or studying for a test or exam. It cuts down on distractions and helps you focus on your work.” Megan (10) said that she agrees 100 percent that students should have the privilege to listen to their own music. Pulster has a routine of listening to music every day for hours whether during free time, doing homework, or even studying. Agreeing with her classmate, Kaela (10) said she would rather be next to a classmate listening to music than have someone talking too loudly next to her during class.
Kaela said, “Music helps very much with creativity. It just puts more ideas in my head. It keeps my energy up and helps me stay awake. It would especially help if I could listen to music in school.” Megan said that music helps keep her energized and the impact music has on students keeps them awake instead of sleeping during class time.
Although she listens to music two hours a day, Shana prefers to be next to someone talking, but she also believes listening to music helps creativity during class assignments. She said, “It helps motivate me in class.” “I listen to music four hours a day with the combination of being at home and dance classes,” said Dakota (10). She prefers someone listening to music next to her rather than having her schoolwork disturbed by someone talking. She added, “The music drowns out the environment around me and I can focus easily.” Emily (10) said that music in school can be more distracting than helpful and some students, like class clowns, can ruin the opportunity.
She said, “Students behavior needs to be more trustworthy and responsible but at this moment no one is trustworthy of this opportunity.” English teacher Mrs. Jennifer Thibodeau said, “It depends on the music; lyrics are not good because they are distracting. It would be better without them, not necessarily saying classical or techno, but nevertheless it can be helpful for them [students].” Science teacher Mrs. Margaret Schneider is against listening to MP3s during class.
She said, “The most obvious reason being, students would rather listen to their music than lyricless, classical music played by the teachers.” MP3s in class can be dangerous because students can’t hear fire alarms. In some classes like history or English, music could be allowed to help students focus in class while in other classes; students need their full attention, like in childcare and carpentry. Schneider said, “MP3s are great for education if we can find a way to have the students listen to non-lyrical music. I would hook the students to technology if the technology can increase their focus.” Students with learning disabilities find music helpful during class to drown out outside noises.
Lyza (10) said that she has very strong feelings toward music, since she uses it during school work and uses it every day to help her focus. Lyza wished she could listen to music during her classes. The idea of listening to music without lyrics pleased her. She said, “I would love that, even the beat could help my concentration; it would be very helpful.” Her favorite genre is R and rap, but she welcomes this option. House 1 dean Mrs.
Ann Montagano sees it through the students’ perspective of how music is connected to creative expression and style. She explained “how pop culture attracts students to certain types of music that can be inappropriate,” but then added, “Music is important to people’s lives.” She is very clear about how it can’t be part of school because of safety issues though. All students have to be safe and with the distraction of music, whether lyrics or lyricless, it can block students from knowing what’s going on around them. “The learning process can be circumvented if students who are wearing headphones can’t hear the teacher clarify problems and or the class as a whole isn’t, paying attention to the lesson,” she said.
Administrators and deans can not negotiate with students about this privilege. Montango said, “Technically no, teachers need to control their students and it’s not possible with dual headphones on their ears.” It’s also not possible to change or go against the handbook. Montagno said, “I can’t change safety issues and the censorship of inappropriate subjects; it would be very difficult to accomplish.”