Audio For Focus: Are We Looking At Music In Class Wrong?

Maddy Mewett, Staff Writer

An interesting dilemma to be considered a little bit more than it is, and one that is often overshadowed by issues such as the tardy table and the bathrooms, is that of the policy on headphones in class. Obviously this fluctuates from teacher to teacher, but the general school policy is to not listen to music in class due to it being distracting.

However, whether or not this is realistically based in fact is up to interpretation. Studies do show that specific music types– classical, spacial, ambient,  low-fidelity (lofi), et cetera come to mind– are actually very good at enhancing student moods, focus, and performance. Furthermore, there are some students who use rain sounds or white noise, or similar noises, in order to help focus in a classroom environment.

“I do use it [white noise] in class whenever I’m allowed to because I have ADHD and I need some sort of white noise to block out any distractions,” said junior Betsy Leveron. She went on to explain that while systems are in place they are “difficult to acquire for some and not overall the best for those who can’t go to psychologists or ask their parents to help them get accommodations”.

However, not everyone works best with a form of audio: after all, not all solutions are universal.

“I think when there’s music going on, I tend to get caught up in focusing on the music’s melodies and intricacies rather than the work itself,” said senior Chase Nester. “Ideally I like some gentle repetitive noise (rain or nature sounds) or complete silence.” Chase also stated that by extension, some teachers playing music in their classrooms “should ask beforehand since some students may find it distracting.”

Not every student works the same way, of course. Some students work well with music, and some do not, and that is perfectly fine. Furthermore, it is understandable that some teachers may think they are being ignored when a student is watching a lesson with headphones in, even if some students are just listening to ambience of some form and are still paying attention.

While making accommodations that work for every student is still a work in progress, especially seeing as Crofton High School is still relatively new, working towards a system where everyone is able to perform to their best ability and fullest standard, with audio aid or without,  is something that students who do and do not use music can alike hope to look forward to.