Boppin’ To And In Class

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Boppin’ To And In Class

photo by Ruby Morales, The Arrow

photo by Ruby Morales, The Arrow

photo by Ruby Morales, The Arrow

photo by Ruby Morales, The Arrow

Ruby Morales, student-journalist

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Throughout the school day, students can be seen wearing headphones or earbuds listening to their favorite bops while they work or just while they walk from class to class.

Some say that it helps them stay more focused or puts them in a better mood, but not everyone may agree with that.

Research shows music can affect high schoolers in different ways, depending on the music being heard.

While there is a controversy if music truly affects students either positively or negatively during class, teachers and psychologists seem to be on the fence.

“I think it has impact both ways, as far as mood enhancement or negative approach from the music depending on what’s being played. If you throw on some head banging music in there, as far as the studying, which is where I think the question is going, well it depends on the music. But I do feel that music impacts you, your emotions, your moods all of that without a doubt, I think music definitely influences what you’re feeling one way or another,” said video production teacher Mr. Sparks.

There are students that listen to loud music believing that they can still concentrate and learn.

Online magazine SeattlePi reports that a study by the University of Toronto found that fast, loud music hinders reading comprehension and the music agitates rather than focuses the studier. Researcher Glenn Schellenberg likened it to trying to learn while riding a roller coaster.

Some high schoolers not only listen to music while they write but while they read.

A University College London study found that both introverted and extroverted undergraduate students performed worse on a reading comprehension test when pop music was played. 

While Chieftains may think that they can retain what they read while listening to the playlist they are not. 

Memory also seems to be effected while learning with music.

A memory test for adult participants at the University of Wales met with similar results finding that listening to music hampered the test takers.

Clairemont High School’s clinician and therapist Mr. Schuhmann said, “It can certainly benefit certain students. I would say that there really needs to be a rubric by which we can establish the need for a student to do that and it’s also about enforcement; that the phone is not being used for any other purposes other than listening to music. So there’s definitely something to be said for students to listen to music but again to note establishing the need and then enforcing it. It can also be a distraction which is again why we don’t want to just allow it for anyone at any point, at any time, at any class.”

Though fast and loud music causes teenagers to lose focus on their work, there are other types of music that they can listen to that actually will help them.

The University of Toronto study also found that not all music is bad for all students and sometimes, soothing music or classical music can help them to focus.

Some music can even elevate people’s intelligence scores.

One British study claims listening to Mozart for 10 minutes produced a “Mozart effect” where test-takers’ IQ scores went up 8 or 9 points.

Music can be more than just background noise. It can even help adolescents learn the actual subject.

A Bulgarian psychologist employed the method of playing Baroque era music to help students learn foreign languages. After the 30-day course, the average retention rate per student was 92 percent, and even four years later, when students had not reviewed the material, most remembered the foreign language lesson.

“Well, from what I’m hearing, is that it does help students to concentrate better. To drown out other classroom noise, especially when it comes to independent work that they have to do. It can also put them emotionally in a more balanced and poised frame of mind to then even be able to apply themselves academically,” said Mr. Schuhman. 

“Again, the downsides are that it’s a potential distraction; that it gives students sort of an authorized out to not apply themselves academically because they get lost in listening to their music. The downside is that it can also be that the work productivity slows down because of the focus on the music instead of the academics,” he added.

There is also evidence that music can be useful for people’s health. 

Research has shown that listening to music is associated with upticks in immunity-boosting antibodies and cells that protect against bacteria and other invaders and is proven to be effective across a variety of treatment scenarios for conditions ranging from premature birth to depression to Parkinson’s disease.

Ashford University reports that there are many effects with music like a dopamine release. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and chemical responsible for transmitting signals in between nerve cells in the brain, and when dopamine is released, they feel happy.

Experts recommend different genres of music for different purposes. When students are getting ready to start a class or getting ready in the morning, they recommend upbeat music, including songs with positive lyrics but when they need to focus on their work, or studying, instrumentals and soothing music is a better way to go.

“If we’re talking about, like, working, I think it can because there is like some music that can be louder and it’s like harder to focus, but in general, yes definitely because sad music can get you sad but also happy music if you like to think of the lyrics, it can make you sad but also happy, so just all really depends,” said sophomore Bella Robinson.

Different genres do serve different purposes with particular effects.

The report from Ashford University also shows that different genres have different impacts.

If a student is preparing for a test listening to classical music will enhance learning and memory. Rap stimulates emotion, motivation, motor function, and pop and rock improves endurance and enhances physical performance but can also distract people from working, and jazz has a soothing affect on the body.

Sophomore Sophia Blomquist said, “For genres, I think it affects me differently because listening to like country, I feel like (dancing), but if like I’m listening to rap, I feel like an actual (expletive) like gotta’ turn it up yo!”

Teachers, students, and psychologists seem to be all over the map about listening to music. But everyone will still see teens with their music blasting around the school.