Is Listening to Music Bad for Students?

Is Listening to Music Bad for Students?

Picture by Pranesh Kumar

By Pranesh Kumar, Staff Writer

There are often times during class when we feel stressed out, unable to focus, or too tired to concentrate. During long lectures and assignments, it is tempting to let exhaustion get the best of us and doze off. In a national survey on the sleep pattern of high school students, it was discovered that more than one quarter of students fall asleep during class at least once a week. A large portion of these students fall asleep during in-class assignments simply because they are usually not closely monitored. One interesting method that has been proven to help students concentrate is by listening to music in the classroom. It is not advised to listen to music during lectures or important videos, but listening to music could be a solution to help students concentrate when completing in-class assignments.

It is often argued that music is a distraction to students trying to focus and do well on their assignments. Listening to music is treated as a reward, meaning that students usually don’t concentrate fully on their assignments because they seek pleasure in hearing their songs of preference. Despite the flaws that come in critical thinking, listening to music does have positive outputs. Studies have revealed that music leads to increased creativity and positive changes in mood. Students tend to think “out of the box” when listening to pop or mild hip hop, leading to better performances in some assignments. Not only that, but it is proven to help people concentrate, distracting them from the burdens and struggles of a massive workload.

The main benefit that comes from listening to music while studying is undoubtedly that music of any kind can relieve students of stress. It is proven to help people perform better in high-pressure situations, such as the bi-annual high-pressure event of finals week. It is also suggested that whether or not music improves cognitive function depends on if a person’s mental state can improve. Upbeat music, for instance, often improves a person’s mental state and therefore leads to more focused cognitive performance. However, upbeat music played at a high volume can also lead to students being too distracted to the point where they lose focus. Finding a balance through listening to classical music or mild pop music is ultimately the most effective solution.

Overall, teachers have many reasons to be concerned with students wearing headphones and listening to music in class. Some teachers are more lax with their enforcement, while other teachers are strictly against headphones. Despite the type of case, studies show that listening to the right kind of music (soft, catchy music that isn’t too loud) is beneficial to the ability of students to perform well in their classroom assignments. Teachers should allow students to listen to music during their classroom assignments; but, they must keep deadlines to ensure students are on track to getting their work done.