The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

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The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Music in Class: Should Teachers Let it Pass?

The use of AirPods or headphones during lessons remains a contentious issue, often finding itself at the center of debate between teachers and students. Does listening to music in the classroom help or hinder the learning process?

The widespread prevalence of AirPods and wireless earbuds has dramatically reshaped the dynamic of a classroom. Students are frequently tuned into their music while sitting in class lessons or working on assignments.

A student listens to music while working (Credit: Ella Shamash).
A student listens to music while working (Credit: Ella Shamash).

The reasons behind this preference are as varied as the genres of music students listen to – for some, it’s about fostering focus, for others, it’s a means of motivation, relaxation, or a channel to drown out surrounding distractions. As educators navigate the evolving landscape of modern teaching and technology, a question resonates: Should listening to music be allowed within the walls of the classroom?

The real teacher vs. student debate arises when it comes to listening to music during lessons or instruction. Having your AirPods in during lessons poses the concern of missing essential information. 

“Listening to music while studying and doing homework can work for some kids,” said Mr. Bonvicino, “but when you are learning in a collective group setting, AirPods and music become more of a distraction.”

For teachers, maintaining an engaged and attentive classroom is crucial for effective teaching and learning. An issue is created for students who become distracted listening to music during class, missing valuable instruction because they cannot hear the teacher or their peers. Teachers become frustrated having to repeat to students to take out their AirPods multiple times during a lesson.

“People should be allowed their AirPods while doing work,” said Senior Catherine Chang, “if they want to sacrifice their attention that will result in worse grades and that is their own consequence.”

Ultimately, it is a student’s responsibility to make a decision that is best for them as an individual in class. 

Correspondingly, Junior Izzy Ku likes to listen to music in class and said, “It’s not distracting because I can tell when the teacher is saying something important so I can turn it off. More than anything it makes the class more enjoyable.”

AirPods can be perceived as a hindrance to one’s concentration or a mechanism to focus (Credit: Ella Shamash).

The sentiment advocating for the use of AirPods while studying echoes the belief that music, rather than being a distraction, is an enabler for concentration. Whether it’s the soothing rhythms of classical compositions or more energetic beats, one’s personal playlist can become a catalyst for heightened focus.

Ms. Kachmar said, “If you find a particular type of music creates a calmer environment for you or helps you to focus, then it might be an advantage.”

A personal decision and depending on the class, some teachers opt to play music out loud. While students are independently working Mr. Giordano often plays jazz, classical, or piano covers.

Mr. Giordano plays “anything considered easy listening without lyrics as I find the lyrics distracting when working,” he said, “I personally don’t like working in silence in class. However, some people find they can only focus in silence, so it’s personal preference.”

In the end, it depends on the type of music that you listen to and the situation in which you are listening. Studies show that listening to calmer music geared toward studying like classical music or 40HZ music can increase focus. For work that requires less concentration, you may opt for music that you enjoy to motivate you while working. When listening to music while studying, consider the lyrics and volume of what you choose. 

For me, having my AirPods in during class lessons is too much of a distraction as I am not able to concentrate on what the teacher is saying. On the other hand, when I am studying I like listening to calming music without lyrics to enhance my concentration. When completing tasks that require less focus, I enjoy listening to rap or pop. 

When used thoughtfully, music can become an incredible tool in various aspects of student life. The key lies in listening to the right type of music, for the right situation, at the right time.

If you see an iPad, it is likely that there is a pair of AirPods nearby (Credit: Ella Shamash).
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About the Contributor
Ella Shamash
Ella Shamash, Associate Editor
Ella Shamash is one of Guide Post’s associate editors. She is a passionate runner, and a part of NHS’s cross country and track teams. In addition, she actively participates in many clubs including being an officer for Key Club and entrepreneurship club, and participating in Letters for Rose. She is determined to accomplish anything she sets her mind to and strives for success. When she isn’t focused on school, she loves spending time with friends and family, working on her business, doing ceramics, going to the beach, and of course writing.  

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