Just dance..or pay attention?

Anna-Grace Medlin, Editor of Student Life

The music is blaring. You’re humming along with Taylor Swift. Your foot is tapping out the fire beat. This is what should be happening at a party, but, with modern technology, this can now happen on a Monday morning in your chemistry class. 

The true question is how does this affect your productivity, mood, and overall well being? The majority of students would argue that music in no way negatively affects their performance in school while most teachers have expressed their continued frustrations with their students who refuse to take out their airpods.

One student who only sees the positives of listening to music while at school is Fuquay-Varina High School freshman, Jesse Toscano. “It’s not only the fact that I listen to music everyday in school and out but it’s the fact that that is my escape. Not only from school but from reality,” Toscano stated.

Toscano is not the only one who listens to music while attending school. In fact, a sample statistic done in 2022 states that 85% of students at FVHS listen to music while at school. “Teachers claim that they care about our mental health and a lot of teenagers rely on music to improve their mental health, but then teachers try to limit listening to music, which is contradicting what they were saying about wanting students to have good mental health,” Toscano explained.

There are obvious biases that come along with students’ and teachers’ opinions on this subject but even some studies can not give a clear answer on how music affects their schooling. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, “53% of teens 12 to 17 do something else while studying. At 87%, listening to music was the most popular side activity for those who balanced studying with another activity.”

While that can’t say whether or not music is negative or beneficial when it comes to schooling, it does convey that most students couldn’t imagine their school day without music. However a study done by the University of Toronto found that fast, loud music hinders reading comprehension. The results only proved that abnormally loud and eccentric music will be distracting, but it can’t really be said whether or not music as a whole is a distraction, and the results are mainly based on each individual student.

While some students, such as Toscano, believe that music should be permitted at all times, others have a different opinion. “I think music is okay, and even beneficial, to listen to while doing independent work. If you’re reading or taking a test, you should be allowed to have an airpod in and listen to music. I do, however, think you should not listen to music at all while a teacher is going over content or lecturing,” junior at FVHS, Marcus Roach, expressed, concerning his feelings on music in the classroom.

Todd Dowle, ACL teacher at FVHS, seemed to completely agree with Roach. “When the teacher is in direct engagement with the class, I feel that earbuds are a distraction because it’s hard to listen to two things at the same time,” said Dowle

Dowle, being a teacher for the past 23 years, knows what he’s talking about when it comes to this subject. He’s been teaching since before earbuds were even a topic of discussion. “I actually encourage students to listen to music. I think it can be beneficial,” Dowle shared.

Just as the whole world can never come to the same conclusion on one thing, this situation is no different. The opinions of students and teachers vary. Neither opinion is right nor wrong. Some may feel strongly about this topic, while others may just passively live through it. Either way music shall still live through our lives and move us in ways that are uniquely beautiful for each individual. The music will still live on and the beat will take you through life in and out of school no matter what decision we make.

Photo by Soulful Pizza of the Pexels Community