Opinion: Listening to music in class: helpful or a disruption?


Infographic by: Trinity Taylor

Trinity Taylor

For me, music has always been an essential part of studying. It helps me focus during long hours of homework and keeps me awake when I’m studying late into the night.

During classes, it’s nearly impossible for me to stay in my seat while the teacher lectures our class on some important topic that I just can’t focus on. Without the background noise I’ve grown so used to at home, I just can’t seem to focus. And everytime I try and sneak my earbuds out, I get reprimanded. It’s a struggle that I’m sure a good-sized portion of my fellow students are aware of.

As I do understand that teachers might find it distracting to the class, I also understand that those, like me, just can’t sit still for an hour straight without some sort of release like music.

As this could be distracting, it makes sense to create rules such as keeping the volume low or only being able to listen to music during downtime, but banning it altogether might not be as beneficial as our teachers think.

“I think listening to music depends on what’s happening in class. If you’re taking a test or quiz then I don’t think you should. I also don’t think it’s possible to focus. Maybe some people can and if so that’s amazing but I think if you are just sitting in class it’s fine,” said sophomore Peyton Redmond when asked whether listening to music in class was distracting or helpful. Photo by Trinity Taylor

According to the article, “Rather than distracting college students, a Stanford study found that ‘music moves [the] brain to pay attention,” by Emmanuel Garcia from Florida National University, there are many benefits of listening to music in school-settings such as relieving stress, aiding overall performance, and improving brain functions like memory.

Garcia’s article included a Youtube video uploaded by Ilia Zenkov that portrays an fMRI of a brain’s reaction to music.

Many Ventura High students agree with me. Including Sophomore Zachary Koehn who said, “Listening to music or any audio in general during class should be discouraged during the time when a lesson is being given or debate or argument is going on. However, I believe listening to music during downtime or when doing individual work is fine as long as it can’t be heard by other students.”

Freshman Olivia Willhite agreed, “I think that it’s fine to wear earbuds in class as long as they don’t become a distraction. There’s a right and wrong time to wear them like when your teacher is talking or is giving a lecture, that wouldn’t be a good time to wear them because it becomes distracting. If your working independently and by yourself in class, then I think that’s the time to have them.”

Being there are positive outcomes, listening to music in class shouldn’t be against the rules. Maybe our teachers and staff should rethink their decision?