Music in Class: Are you tuned in or tuned out?

Leylah Qualo

There is no better feeling than hitting shuffle and landing on your favorite song. Having it remind you of good times and propelling you to move forward on any given task. Music has the power to increase your motivation, enhance your focus skills and improve your overall mood.
In a learning environment, the effects of music can be beneficial. Senior, Tamia Battle, explains what music does for her.
“I love music. It keeps me focused, it just gets me in the zone,” said Battle.
According to, “Students have found that music helps them with memorization, likely by creating a positive mood, which indirectly boosts memory formation.” Senior, Justin Forde-Billy, usually kicks off his studying process with calmer R&B music.
“I like listening to calmer music when I’m studying, artists like Frank Ocean calm my mind,” said Forde-Billy. “Once I’m almost done with my work I start playing more upbeat music.” Though the option to listen to music using headphones is not allowed by all school staff, it’s been proven that depending on the subject, soft music playing in the background during instructional time has the potential to be helpful.
According to, “music is soothing, relaxing, and can help students beat stress or anxiety while studying…” the article further states that, “During long study sessions, music can aid endurance.
On the other hand, some people feel that loud or agitated music can negatively affect their performance. Choosing what kind of music you play while studying can either improve your information intake, or slightly distract you. Senior Lameck Nyambane, believes that louder, more aggressive music serves as a distraction as he’s completing his work, but still believes that calm music allows him to engage in his work.
“It sidetracks me because it’s basically like trying to do something while someone’s yelling right next to you,”said Nyambane. “It makes it harder for me to pay attention to what I’m doing when the music is really loud or fast paced.”
Freshman English teacher, John Gurbisz agreed that playing music during class helps his students focus.
“I generally play music in order to help my kids focus. I don’t play music that they know because it can get distracting, but there’s plenty of studies that show that music does help you study,” said Gurbisz.
Music can help to stimulate brain function especially while studying. A Stanford study on music found that “music moves the brain to pay attention.” It is best to play music while taking notes as it improves our ability to memorize.
Many students swear by music to assist in their school tasks. Junior, Rashon Graham, fully believes that music has the ability to help students study.
“Most music definitely helps you focus. There are certain songs that can get you in the mood to do work and get you ready to be productive. And if you’re feeling like you have too much energy, music can also help you calm down,” said Graham.
Numerous studies have proven that the right music has the potential to increase focus and encourage students to finish their work in a timely manner. It is no question that while some feel that music is a distraction, others believe that it helps improve their mood. Music is something that aids focus so it only makes sense for students to incorporate it with their schoolwork.

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