Time to face the music: does music distract or aid students in their work?

With the convenience of music streaming in the modern era, many people constantly listen to music while working in order to boost their energy or get themselves in the right mindset to achieve their goals.
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With the convenience of music streaming in the modern era, many people constantly listen to music while working in order to boost their energy or get themselves in the right mindset to achieve their goals. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ella Lukowiak

Whether it’s curled up at home, reading a book while soothing music echoes through the speakers, or in a classroom, trying to squeeze out another page of a paper while drowning in the rhythm of rock and roll, people are constantly surrounded and impacted by music with the average person streaming music around 17.8 hours a week.

Music touches every corner of the globe. It affects how people feel and behave, and some believe it impacts productivity.

Freshman Emma Burnell of Wall Township said that music helps her accomplish her goals.

“Music gets me hyped up. I feel after listening to a song I can accomplish what I need to get done,” Burnell said.

With the convenience of music streaming in the modern era, many people constantly listen to music while working in order to boost their energy or get themselves in the right mindset to achieve their goals.

Sophomore Francesca McCaffrey of West Long Branch said that she believes listening to music makes her more productive. 

“It puts me in the right mind space and helps me work for longer periods of time,” McCaffrey said.

However, studies conducted by the Department of Learning and Instruction at Ulm University revealed that when it comes to learning and comprehension, eliminating background music led to better results.

Freshman Mackenzie Carey of Long Branch said that music diverts her attention from the task at hand, and ultimately does more harm than good.

“It distracts me, and it’s difficult to focus on the work that I’m reading while listening to music,” Carey said.

In the era of cell phones and Spotify, teachers are now faced with the decision of whether or not to allow students to listen to music during class. 

Photography and Communications Technology teacher Amanda Fitzpatrick agrees that listening to music during work time can have positive effects on her students.

“Music can be a means of focus for so many types of learners,” Fitzpatrick said. “By drowning out noise around you and playing music that is pleasing to you, I feel work productivity can increase during editing time,” 

Though Fitzpatrick said she believes that music is beneficial, history teacher Thomas Ross said that he finds it distracting.

“If you are not focusing on one thing, you are not focusing, so it’s impossible to multitask,” Ross said.

While millions of people listen to music worldwide, there is still uncertainty as to whether music is helpful or harmful when it comes to productivity.  

For now though, students can feel free to enjoy the luxury and adventure a song can provide while remembering to focus on the task at hand and unplugging the earbuds when necessary.

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