No headphones, no music, big problem

Itaaehau Tupou , Reporter

Upon entering the classroom one instantly hears  the rustle of papers, the squeak of chairs as students shift in their seats and above all, the constant chatter as classmates talk with friends. Someone moves to put in a pair of headphones to block out the noise but just as the tiny buds lift, the sound of the teacher’s voice echoes through the room, saying the thing that nearly every student hates to hear, “No headphones.”  It is funny how most of the things students least like to be told in class begin with no. No hats, no gum, no texting, etc.

It is understandable why a teacher would not like students to be wearing headphones in class. Teachers might be worried that a student will not pay attention at an important point in class or that students might distract other students by how loud music is being played. These concerns are unwarranted and can be easily fixed.

When students are given the opportunity for silent reading or when the class is working on a one man project, students should be able to listen to music because there is no active teaching involved, so students are not disrupting any actual teaching processes for themselves or their peers.

Loud music coming from another student’s earbuds can be distracting, however, maybe other students do not share the same taste in music or it can become more of an incessant annoying noise like an alarm clock. I like to be fully immersed in my own music whether as background noise on a speaker or on my headphones. However, in terms of distracting other students with loud music, teachers could simply give students a certain volume level that they are to play their music at and if people choose not to abide by the rule simply revoke personalized music privileges.

I believe listening to music in class is anything but distracting to the students who are listening to music, or to the students surrounding them. Music can allow people to focus on the task at hand, like the background music in movies, and it can help to enhance the focus on the object of interest. Studies have shown that music allows people to cut down on distractions and promote focus through the “Mozart effect”.

Personalized music also discourages talking and disruption in class because I think that students would be more focused on the work at hand with music in their ears. I can understand however how some may not share my opinion because music does not always help everyone focus, even so, listening to music while working helps to increase independence. It will give the student a sense of trust from the teacher by being given the decision whether or not they can, or should, listen to music.