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Music in the classroom: help or hinderance?


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By Ayla Mulvey
Round Table reporter

Ayla Mulvey- Round Table reporter

There’s always been controversy over whether or not music really helps people concentrate. There are people that say music can help

them focus and be less tense while doing stressful tasks, and there are others that say music is a big distraction during the course of their work or school day.

Some teachers allow students to listen to music in the classroom; however this is typically when they are not teaching.

Elona Hartjes, an Ontario Certified Teacher, wrote an article about allowing her students to listen to music in class.

“Listening to music helps improve productivity. Why? One reason is because music acts like white noise in the background preventing students from noticing every other little noise that usually distracts them. Some kids can’t tune out things like a pencil dropping or someone asking a question.” said Hartjes.

Listening to music while working can be a good thing; it can help the student’s focus on what needs to be done. When listening to music, the music blocks out what’s going on around them, such as another student having a conversation with someone else or someone asking questions.

Although music can be beneficial to some students in the classroom it can be considered a distraction by others.

If the student gets too wrapped up in the music that they are listening to they may lose focus of what is actually going on around them. This can cause them to not complete the work that they were assigned to do and get in trouble with the teacher.

Also if the students listen to their music at a high volume it could distract other students. If the teacher allows the students to listen to music there has to be guidelines so the students listening to music aren’t listening to it while he or she is teaching.

Studies have been done in recent years that suggest that music can be beneficial to people who are trying to get tasks done.

Studies have shown that the right kind of music can help you relax your mind which enables you to concentrate better. Perfect to studying, doing homework or studying for a test or exam. It cuts down on distractions and helps you focus on your work,” says UNC Charlotte and University City.

Ultimately, it is the teachers, administrators and school boards that get to decide whether or not students are allowed to listen to music in the classroom. There are both positive and negative aspects to listening to music during school hours but it is a school by school decision in the end.

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Part of The Round Table's multimedia experience
Music in the classroom: help or hinderance?