December 14, 2015
It is said that music speaks to the soul. Often used as a way to elevate one’s spirit, mind and body, music has endless potential to make an even greater impact in the modern era. With the developments in music streaming, a person can listen to hundreds of their favorite songs with little to no trouble. The possibility of enhancing a student’s performance is increasing with every passing day; but yet not many school systems have taken advantage of this opportunity. Music should slowly begin to become an essential component in educational procedures because music creates an attitude that can become beneficial to the writing process.
Researchers believe to have found that an improved mood from listening to music to be the reason why there is an increase in productivity while listening to music. It is said that while listening to music a person enjoys, the body releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical or neurotransmitter is the brain rewarding the body for a positive stimulation. For example. If a person were to eat their favorite type of pizza, their body will release dopamine upon tasting the delicious food as a reward. When dopamine is released it creates a feeling of happiness and pleasure. It has been found that dopamine is often released within the body when a person listens to music creating this sense of pleasure. The improvement in mood is also found to increase productivity among the listeners. This can become a huge advantage while performing assignments in the classroom. Whether it is writing an essay for their English or History class or even performing mathematical equations for their math or science class, an increase in mood can positively improve any student’s productivity.
It is quite understandable why teachers would disagree with the use of music for class assignments; the problem would be the fact that most students access their music through the usage of the cell phones. Most teachers do not trust their students to be honest in the cell phone usage if they allowed music to be played during class.
In fact, an anonymous source who wished to keep their name hidden for fear of social repercussions weighed in on the situation: “No, we shouldn’t be allowed to listen to music. Kids barely stay off their phones as it is. All they do is stay on Snapchat or Instagram or Twitter. It wouldn’t get any better if we were given the right to listen to music. It would only get worse.” Yes, this is an evident problem but yet one that can be adjusted to.
If teachers were to only allow music listening during essay or written portions of test then it can limit the claim that music distracts students during the instructional period of class. Also strict rules and requirements can create a system of trust between student and teacher. Rules such as the student reporting to the teacher when he or she is about to use music for assistance, or the student being required to have their phone face down on the desk to prevent cheating of any kind. Failure to follow this procedure in any sort may result in a prohibition of any cell phone use of any kind along with any academic punishment the teacher desires for the student in question. “Failure” can include not reporting to the teacher that you are about to use your phone for music, touching your phone while it is on the desk for any reason, texting, taking pictures, making phone calls, etc. For this policy to work the student must be completely honest and only use their cell phone for the purpose of music. I believe that as a student body we have the ability to follow these procedures and those who cannot will easily be rooted out and prohibited from any cell phone use.
Classrooms are naturally a noisy place. The constant moving a chairs, the non-stop chatter of classmates and sometimes even teachers, that one person who always makes noise claiming it helps them concentrate; all of these are things every student has suffered through while trying to complete an assignment. If students were given any sort of relief from these nuisances they would happily take it without hesitation. That’s were a student’s music can come into play. By using their music a student can block out whatever background noise with ease. No more will students be forced to refocus their attention every couple of minutes.
Music can allow creativity to flow throughout the mind of the listener so denying a student to use that to their advantage is only crippling our students. With the procedures I laid out, I believe that we can achieve higher academic goals, create a positive student-teacher relationship and maybe even a long-lasting tradition here at Overlea High School.