Teachers should allow students to listen to music during independent work time

Feb. 29, 2024

By Chiara Cardone
Staff Writer

Has a teacher ever reprimanded you for listening to music while working independently? That shouldn’t be a problem, here’s why.

According to a survey of 2,000 Americans conducted by the research company OnePoll, 58% of ages 18-25 said they listen to music when studying. Of those students, 80% said they find the practice is therapeutic.

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare reports that listening to music while working independently can improve students’ moods. A suggested technique is to listen to a playlist that progressively gets more uplifting. This promotes a positive mood change, which is essential for better productivity.

Similarly, a study published by the National Library of Medicine analyzed ways in which listening to music while working can improve work quality. The study shows that this practice can benefit one’s performance in work activities.

Dr. Masha Godkin, a professor of the Department of Marriage and Family Sciences at National University who studies how music interacts with the brain found that music causes both of the brain’s hemispheres to activate. This maximizes the practice of learning, enhancing concentration when studying. These benefits also correlate with memory.

According to the peer-reviewed online journal BMC Neuroscience, music plays an important role in memory. Since strong emotions are evoked by listening to music, the memory process is strengthened.

A second study by the National Library of Medicine found that music containing lyrics can be distracting and, therefore, detrimental. As a result, students can take the National University in San Diego’s recommendation of ambient, classical, jazz and lo-fi music for studying playlists. 

If you discover music as a tool to help you do better with schoolwork, make conscious use of it.

Some may need a confidence boost or pick-me-up to get motivated. Music can also help in this regard. As reported by Charles Sturt University, music entices a dopamine release from the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that works to enhance motivation and behavior related to achieving goals. Therefore, it can help students refocus if they feel like they’re going off-track.

Last, creativity is an essential aspect of many school assignments, and music is highly effective in this regard. According to the National Library of Medicine, listening to music facilitates creative cognition, which is crucial to successful critical thinking and the formation of ideas.

Students learn through experience what study habits work best for them and which music best promotes their academic success. If you discover music as a tool to help you do better with schoolwork, make conscious use of it.

If your teacher does not allow music during independent work time, speak to them privately. Let them know why you think listening to music in their class would further your level of achievement, and ask them to give you a chance to prove that this habit really works for you.

With so many positive effects, music in the classroom really can make a positive difference in students’ learning, and that is why teachers should entertain it as an option.

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