The Student News Site of Legacy High School

Lightning Letter

The Student News Site of Legacy High School

Lightning Letter

The Student News Site of Legacy High School

Lightning Letter

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Lindsay Uba, President • December 10, 2023

Is Music a Necessity?

Focused or not focused?
Is Music a Necessity?

Once we hear we have class time to work on our assignment, the immediate thought is “I need to listen to music.”  What about the teachers that don’t let us listen to our music? Or let us have our phones? What do we do then? We ask and we beg to be able to listen to our music. The question is does music actually help us? Or is it more of a distraction? The debate is up. I’ll be asking teachers what their opinion on music during work time is. Along with some student opinions as well. There are some teachers that make their opinions clear. No headphones and no music, but why? What is the reason that they won’t let us?

Let’s start off with the students. Jaycee Paredes is a freshman at Legacy. Listening to music is a key part of her learning and to fill space with noise.

” Yes, because it helps me just focus on one thing at a time, I got to listen to something I like while doing something I don’t. It just makes it better.”

— Jaycee Paredes

We have one student who believes music can help.  Not only that, but it lightens something that she doesn’t like doing. Bringing enjoyment to the work that needs to be done, instead of just getting it done and over with. Is this the case for most students as well? Having music that you like to listen to is helpful as well, unlike music that the teachers sometimes put on and we hate.

Mrs. Blyth is a Biology teacher here at Legacy; has said this when asked if she thinks music is a good way to focus or not.     “I think that music can be a way to focus during independent work. I believe this because I know that other students can be distracting, and with music, you can tune them out. I also know that when I am grading, I will often turn on music and it often helps me focus.” Listening to music is once again a good way for students to focus on the work at hand. It can also serve as a way to block out other distractions and can get you back on task. Not only do students use music to focus, but teachers use it as a method as well.

Next, we have Mr. Beerman, a World History teacher for freshmen and for juniors. These were his thoughts:

I believe that certain types of music at certain levels help students study. I have seen studies that show that low-level instrumental music is good for the brain to focus. This is why I play the smooth jazz music in class during work time. Students will listen to what they want to and I have no problems as long as they are working diligently.

— Mr. Beerman

Mr. Beerman does think that certain types of music help. However, he also added this: “I would say the only distractor would be that some students get transfixed into searching for songs which can be a distractor.  I would love it if students created their own playlists to listen to while working so that they could focus on the learning at hand.”  There is an opinion on both sides. That music is a good focus point, but is it too much focus? Would it be better to make a playlist set aside just for school? Yet,  Beerman also said that there are certain music types that help with concentration. It is true that most studies that come up with smooth and easy music are the best music to listen to if you want to focus. Other students have said things like: “My brain is always distracted and wandering and enjoying music as well as learning helps my focus.” -Micah Alimonos (a sophomore here at Legacy).

From the opposite end. There will be teachers who think that school should just be focused on school and the tasks at hand. Not listening to music when you could be engaged with other students. Along with being engaged with the activities that the teachers had planned for the day.

I would allow students in my class to listen to music if they are working individually. However, I have the belief that individual learning at school should be avoided because some students may not have resources available at home that they can utilize. When students are in school, they should be utilizing their peers as resources, and thus music would not be practical.

— Mr. Taylor

Mr. Taylor had also said this: “My concern is with disengagement or perceived disrespect. Some students may not give their full attention to their peers or teachers if they are listening to music. Thus, I perceive students listening to music during my teaching or during group activities as disrespectful.” Along with saying that there is a lot of effort put forth with planning activities for students to do, while music can take away from being fully engaged in the activity because of music. Mr. Taylor is a math teacher here at Legacy. “I think that music can be a good way for students to focus on individual tasks and assignments. If students are in school, though, learning should be done cooperatively with peers or in class discussions.” -Mr. Taylor. 

From our last student speaker: “Listening to music in class has impacted how I focus on work by minimizing distractions. Helping me be in a comfortable position to do my work without the feeling of being overwhelmed. It does depend on personal preference and the type of task at hand.” – Arah Izadi (a freshman here at Legacy). Most students have made it clear that it helps minimize the distractions of other students. The point being made here is that music helps with the feeling of being overwhelmed. However, she also agrees that the task at hand can change whether music is a must or not. Along with personal preference.

Overall, students and teachers can agree that music can help with focusing. However, it does depend on the task and what the personal preferences are of the student and of the teacher. Especially when a teacher puts a lot of effort forward just to see students focus on their music preference more than the activities at hand. Yet, music takes away the feeling of being overwhelmed and takes away from the distractions of other peers. In the end, it is all up to what the teacher decrees when you can listen to music and whether or not it will help students focus. Even when we all know that music does help us.

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    spenceDec 12, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    so true!!!

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